By Morgan Getts, SFLA’s Ohio Regional Coordinator
“The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference.” – Elie Wiesel
Indifference. It is easy to do, it seems safe, and I am not going to lie, it is tempting. As human beings, we love to have a good time and enjoy ourselves.
Naturally, we tend to steer clear of anything that makes us feel discomfort. Most of us don’t want to upset anyone, we just want everyone to like us, and we hate feeling uncomfortable.
Elie Wiesel asked the question, “What is indifference?” He found that, “Etymologically, the word means ‘no difference.’ A strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil.” Indifference conveys the idea that you don’t think it is an important enough issue to say or do something. It is simply unimportant.
Not too long ago I would have told you indifference is necessary at times. To practice, it simply means to keep one’s sanity and to live a normal life. It is so much easier to look away from those in need. It is so much easier to avoid confrontations, discussions, and questions that make you feel uncomfortable. It is so much easier to be indifferent. I. Was. Wrong.
I recently spent Sunday afternoon helping the Ohio State University’s Pro-Life Club at their Involvement Fair. During my time there, I had a few conversations with students who were challenging our pro-life stance. It was quite refreshing, and I enjoyed engaging with students who were willing to ask us the “hard questions.”
However, when we asked students if they were interested in joining the pro-life club, most of them said things like this: “No, it’s not my problem,” “No, it’s not my body,” “No, I’ll remain neutral,” or my favorite, “No, I am personally pro-life, but I think others have the right to their body.” To me, these responses come from a place of indifference. The last one is my favorite because that is something I would have said not too long ago. Saying you are pro-life, but then not doing anything about it, is simply cheating the system. It is a selfish answer that you give to protect yourself from any backfire that might occur from you stating what you believe. It says, “I believe it is wrong to have an abortion, but I am not going to do anything about it.”
And to those who think, “It’s not my problem,” or “It’s not my body,” sure it is not directly impacting you, but it could at some point. It is the problem/body of your friends, your family, your peers that you sit next to in class every day. Just because you don’t experience the issue personally, does not mean it isn’t something you should speak up for or against. Become educated, learn more about the pro-life stance… DO SOMETHING.
The last answer we received on a regular basis was, “No, I’ll remain neutral.” Neutrality or indifference is always the friend of the enemy. The voiceless need people willing to step up to be their voice. If we aren’t the voice for the voiceless, who will be?
I know how tempting it is to be indifferent. To get caught up in our own lives. Busy with classes, sports, and hanging out with friends, to simply ignore the outside world or the struggles of our peers because they inconvenience our lives. But I urge you to take a stand, ask questions, and challenge each other’s views.
We do not have time for indifference. We are better than indifference. There are so many evils to fight against, we can’t be content being indifferent. Maybe you don’t have time to join the pro-life club, that’s fine. But at least be willing to do some research and speak up about what you believe and why.
Will it be uncomfortable? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.