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The Health Effects of Apathy

I spent 11 days with practically no internet connection, no news sources, and not a care about anything in the world. Eleven days of training in a room full of conservatives that sometimes were so far to the right I would cringe. It was great.

Spending time away from the news was a huge relief for me. I almost feel as if a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. I probably shouldn’t feel like this, I’m not a policy maker, my life doesn’t hinge on the news. But when I’m in my regular routine I’m a total news junkie. I read everything, news stories, newspapers, columns, blog posts. It’s fairly intensive. I do this to be an informed citizen. I do it to be a better radio talk show host. I do it so that I have a good blog.

But man, you just can’t beat some time away from it all. I suppose that free feeling is how the other half of society lives. The apathetic half. Those that don’t vote, don’t care, and live their lives with only occasional interruptions from the outside world.

I envy these people, and I’m glad we live in a nation that allows the ignorant and apathetic masses to flourish. For a person starving, for people oppressed, for people who are sick, news is important. People under dictators need information so that they can avoid angering the dictator. People starving need news about where food is, if there is aid coming, is there any chance the drought will end. People who need news, and need to vote, and need to be active are typically in a bad situation.

People in America can pretty much ignore what the government is doing most of the time. This is because typically the American government is doing anything that interferes too much in their lives, and they aren’t worried about being executed for not recycling. The fact that we have a great apathetic mass of people who don’t participate is a healthy sign. It means we’re still “free enough.”

Sure, I believe that we need to keep a watchful eye on government. I also believe that some things need to change for us to keep our society, and that right soon. For that reason us “well off” news junkies have an important role in doing what we do. Having far reaching vision and noting when the government needs to be checked is a necessity. Oppression can happen overnight, but it is more likely to be the product of a long slide away from freedom. That’s in essence why I do what I do.

I understand all too well the history of the Roman Republic, a light of civilization and innovation that persisted for 5 centuries, where our forms of government originated. That Republic fell to an empire, and that empire fell like empire’s do. History is on a geologic timescale, and we can play our small part in keeping the light of civilization on.

But it is still a joy to get away from it once in a while.

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