Exploring: Why Should I Care?
I have received some feedback regarding the title of the podcast. And I’d like to take the opportunity to explain my thinking behind it and the reason this show got its name.
Have you ever considered the question, “What is the opposite of love?” Much attention is given to the topic of love, desire, passion, and intimacy. Foolishly, many people assume that the opposite of love is hatred. But I want to explain why hatred is not the opposite of love, but rather its complement. You see, hatred is woven together into the idea of love. If I love something, then it also stands to reason that I must hate other things. Because I love my wife, I must hate anyone or anything that seeks to drive us apart. Because I love my children, I am compelled to hate any malevolent force that might come against them. Love and hatred can occupy the same space simultaneously, and therefore cannot be opposites.
In the book of Proverbs, chapter 8, the author, King Solomon, personifies the virtue of wisdom. She (wisdom) speaks to us with striking clarity saying in verses 35 and 36:
‘For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”’ –Proverbs 8:35–36
So you see that love and hate harmonize together in a way. When you hate wisdom, you love death. By the way, the opposite is also true: those who love wisdom hate death. There is a profound truth there that we should approach in another episode.
The true opposite of love is not hatred but apathy. The word has Greek origins. The prefix “a” means “without” or “not.” Think of the examples “atheist (doesn’t believe in God), amoral (without moral direction), or agnostic (unknowable).” So what does the apathetic person not have? Pathos. This Greek word means suffering, passion, feeling, or emotion, both positive and negative. Other words that we derive are pathetic: one who stirs up our emotions; sympathy/empathy: the ability to feel the emotions of another; pathology: the study of disease, the analysis of what brings agony and suffering. A person who suffers from apathy, then, can no longer feel anything of value.
In other words, apathy says, “I don’t care anymore.” We have a whole category of crime called “crimes of passion.” Like when a husband comes home to discover his wife in the arms of another man, he could become so enraged that he strikes a blow that kills the man. Most states classify this as second-degree murder since it wasn’t premeditated. It was an overly passionate response to a situation. We recognize in our system of law how this is less evil than murder in the first degree. But I guarantee that apathy has produced more murders than passions. Marriages fall apart when husbands and wives can look at each other and say, “I don’t care anymore.” Churches fall apart when faithful members no longer care about the mission of the Gospel expressed in their local congregation. Even the Beatles broke up when the members cared more for their individual desires than they did about the band.
So we all have a war to wage in our lives; the war against apathy. This leads me to why I dubbed the podcast, Why Should I Care? I want to give you reasons why there are still things that you need to care about. We must resist the urge to give up the fight against those things that we SHOULD care about. Maybe I am concerned about becoming apathetic myself. This podcast attempts to convince me and, hopefully, you that there are still many issues that we must care about.
This is where audience participation becomes very important. I want to hear from you about the things you care about, that you wish more people cared about. They could huge, life-altering issues that every person on earth should care about.. Or, they could be things that only a tiny minority care about. This podcast exists to remind you that there are still plenty of things that you SHOULD care about. There is a link in our show notes that allows you to leave us a high-quality voicemail. When you tap on the link, it will activate the microphone on your smartphone and what I would love is if you would share one thing with our audience that you believe they need to care about. I will filter these responses and craft them into the episodes you have grown used to in the last few weeks. So, what do you care about and why?
I look forward to your responses. When you record your voicemail, please include your first name and the location where you are listening. Take a few moments to do it now before you forget. We thank you for your participation, and we’ll talk again soon.