yes, thank God, they aren’t listening. The irony of all philosophical thinking is the ability to engage a lot of people on one topic but watch as their individual perceptions change the whole dynamic of the issue being discussed.
What I mean is, right now you and I are engaged in this conversation that seems interesting, intricate, and rather randomly complex. But even in the midst of our authenticity, someone else can read this and think something rather radical or even passive depending on their mental capacity and/or current temperment.
It’s fascinating, that while I beg for people to listen to one another, I am okay with little attention. It’s like you said, suddenly inactivity is FUN because we are not emotionally invested or tied to the outcome.
As far as your question about what to do, I think you have hit a philosophical debate that has plagued humanity and most of all the social work industry for a very long time.
As you know from your experience, social workers experience an incredible amount of fatigue. Not a regular days worth but one of the heart, of the soul; one that tugs at the core. You spend all day trying to help a small but growing fabric of society that seems forgotten only to come home and try to do the same for your loved ones. You turn on the news and see more socially and politically battered humans that resemble the ones you vowed to save at work. Suddenly, your iPhone 6 Plus rings and it’s the Italian restaurant that is calling to tell you they are out of that special sauce you love and reality hits; you are confronted with the truth of your privileged life.
The cycle goes on and on and you are constantly trying to alleviate your guilt by condemning the very society you subscribe to. You’re constantly punishing yourself and thinking you should do more.
The truth is you should. But we all should. So what do you do?
I use to struggle with this question. I still do.
I once posed it to a colleauge of mine who knew how hard I worked to be there for my family and how much they were used to yes attitude. Here’s what a wise person once said to me in regards to this question.
“Never apologize for being happy”.
It was so simple that I couldn’t understand.
“But I’m not happy” I
And he smiled and said
“ I Know that’s because you’re too busy going against it. You think you do not deserve it because of all the other people worse off than you. If you are forever depleting your resources to tend to those with less, your resources will never be enough”.
I still struggle with it. Namely because I come from a third world country and it is engrained in our culture to help those back home.
I still volunteer when I can. I give money when I can but most of all, I try to just be kind to people. In social work, we aren’t allowed to give people anything personally because we are paid professionals. Other then connecting them to services available, we can’t do much. But I’ve been thanked before for offering a smile or a listening ear.
I would say to you, do what you can with respect to all you do already (at home, with friends etc) Sounds like I’m speaking in code but I think you can understand.