Quotations about   apathy

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When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.

james-itself-a-choice-wist_info-quote

William James (1842-1910) American psychologist and philosopher
(Attributed)
Added on 17-Oct-16 | Last updated 17-Oct-16
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“Scarlett, I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken — and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. Perhaps if I were younger–” he sighed. “But I’m too old to believe in such sentimentalities as clean slates and starting all over. I’m too old to shoulder the burden of constant lies that go with living in polite disillusionment. I couldn’t live with you and lie to you and I certainly couldn’t lie to myself. I can’t even lie to you now. I wish I could care what you do or where you go, but I can’t.”

He drew a short breath and said lightly but softly:

“My dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) American author and journalist.
Gone with the Wind, ch. 57 (1936)
    (Source)
Added on 10-May-16 | Last updated 10-May-16
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Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.

Geisel - cares a whole awful lot - wist_info quote 2

Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) American author, illustrator [pseud. of Theodor Geisel]
The Lorax (1971)
Added on 19-Apr-16 | Last updated 19-Apr-16
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Emotion, whether of ridicule, anger, or sorrow, — whether raised at a puppet show, a funeral, or a battle, — is your grandest of levelers. The man who would be always superior should be always apathetic.

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) English novelist and politician
Devereux, Book 2, ch. 1 (1829)
Added on 22-Mar-16 | Last updated 18-Mar-16
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There is one characteristic of the present direction of public opinion peculiarly calculated to make it intolerant of any marked demonstration of individuality. The general average of mankind are not only moderate in intellect, but also moderate in inclinations; they have no tastes or wishes strong enough to incline them to do anything unusual, and they consequently do not understand those who have, and class all such with the wild and intemperate whom they are accustomed to look down upon.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
On Liberty, ch. 3, “Of Individuality, as One of the Elements of Well-Being” (1859)
Added on 4-Jun-15 | Last updated 4-Jun-15
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Any sufficiently advanced indifference is indistinguishable from evil.

George Wiman (contemp.) American blogger, computer technician
Google+ (15 May 2015)
    (Source)

See Clarke.
Added on 19-May-15 | Last updated 19-May-15
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Looky here, America
What you done done —
Let things drift
Until the riots come.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright
“Beaumont to Detroit: 1943”
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Added on 14-May-15 | Last updated 14-May-15
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The biggest sin is sitting on your ass.

Other Authors and Sources
Florynce R. Kennedy, in Gloria Steinem, “the Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq.,” Ms. (Mar 1973)
Added on 6-Jun-14 | Last updated 6-Jun-14
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Too many people don’t care what happens so long as it doesn’t happen to them.

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (1909-13) and Chief Justice (1921-1930)
(Attributed)
Added on 17-Jan-14 | Last updated 17-Jan-14
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It’s terrible to lie in chains,
To rot in dungeon deep,
But it’s still worse, when you are free
To sleep, and sleep, and sleep.

Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) Ukrainian poet and artist [a/k/a "Kobzar"]
“The Days Go By”, l. 21 (21 Dec 1845)
Added on 10-Jan-14 | Last updated 10-Jan-14
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If there is distrust out there — and there is — perhaps it is because there is so much partisan jockeying for advantage at the expense of public policy. At times it feels as if American politics consists largely of candidates without ideas, hiring consultants without convictions, to stage campaigns without content. Increasingly the result is elections without voters.

Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) US President, (1974-77) [b. Leslie Lynch King, Jr.]
Speech, Profiles in Courage Award Acceptance, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (2001)
    (Source)
Added on 3-Jan-14 | Last updated 2-Jun-16
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He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian artist, engineer, scientist
Note-books (1508-1518)
Added on 3-Jan-14 | Last updated 8-Jan-15
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The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.

Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977) American educator, educational philosopher, administrator
Great Books of Western World, vol. 1, ch. 10 (1952)
Added on 13-Dec-13 | Last updated 15-Jun-15
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Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

Malcolm X (1925-1965) American revolutionary, religious leader [b. Malcolm Little]
Malcolm X Speaks, ch. 9 “With Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer” (1965)
Added on 1-Nov-13 | Last updated 1-Dec-16
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To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Where Do We Go from Here?, 3.2 (1967)
Added on 17-Mar-10 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. It may be that our generation will have repent not only for the diabolical actions and vitriolic words of the children of darkness, but also for the crippling fears and tragic apathy of the children of light.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“The Christan Way of Life in Human Relations,” speech, General Assembly fo the National Council of Churches, St Louis (4 Dec 1957)
    (Source)

Often paraphrased: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people." See also here.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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