Apathy, a photo by Toban Black on Flickr.
St. Paul says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15).
Why then do so many people think it is their duty to stay out of other’s lives? Far beyond some idea of privacy or politeness, people are increasingly becoming apathetic to what is going on with other people. And this doesn’t just go for strangers who may be crying around you, but even those closest to us: our friends and family.
Paul preaches unity; the culture of the day preaches isolation and independence.
The early disciples pooled everything that they had, sharing all resources, so that all had enough food and clothing. Today, we are expected to “make it on our own,” and “not be a burden.”
Where is the love?
Is it truly a better society to live as though we didn’t need anyone or anything besides ourselves?
I don’t think so. I think community and caring and sharing and love are what characterize the best societies. And this means that we have to build relationships with the people around us. We need to care not only about their physical condition and material needs, but about their emotional and spiritual needs as well. It has to really matter to us whether they are happy or if they are sad.
And we have to be willing to give ourselves. Make their sorrows our sorrows. Make their joy our joy.
This is my beloved brother or sister. I choose to focus not on me, but on him or her. I choose to love.