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Don't be indifferent to indifference

Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel

September 22, 1999



It wasn't just another Tuesday. It was election day. One more opportunity for the people to be heard, and for what they say to count. But voter turnout, as had been expected, was low. Pollsters said there just wasn't enough concern on the part of the populace to get them to vote.

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On the local scene, a performing arts organization has been trying to drum up support in the community for sponsoring arts programs for all ages, but little interest is expressed. The same lack of enthusiasm has been experienced by a committee chairwoman, who wishes more interest were being shown by committee members in what the group is charged with accomplishing.

Not a good trend. Yet probably most people would have to plead guilty, at one time or another, to going along with it. In the face either of reports of widespread indifference or our own apathetic reaction to some opportunity or responsibility, do we pause and consider what's at stake? What happens if we meet indifference with indifference? Nothing happens. It's as simple - and as dangerous - as that.

At first, indifference may appear harmless. Just as when an automobile isn't running quite as smoothly as it should, and initially we pay little attention to the problem. The danger comes when, day after day, we keep on doing nothing, and the trouble, uncorrected, gradually worsens. At some point, the damage might become serious enough that everything comes to a standstill.

Indifference is a dull, unresponsive state of mind that is opposed to learning, to taking action, to accomplishment, to progressing, to lending a helping hand - in a word, it's opposed to good. If we go along with indifference, it becomes a sort of self-sabotage, and we keep turning away from opportunities to develop and advance and accomplish good things.

But we have the ability to change this way of thinking, and if we want to live fuller and happier lives, we should. The authority to make this change comes from the knowledge that we're none other than the likeness of God, the active and responsive expression of divine Life and Love. The textbook of Christian Science says that "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 258).

Just think what this tells you about the actual, spiritual nature and direction of your life. God impels you to be developing, broadening, and rising all the time. God, divine Love, inspires you to value and to accept all the good things He provides for His children. It's unnatural, then, to lack interest in worthwhile activities or opportunities, in anything that's good.

The acknowledgment that good is what God, Love, has in store for us, and the determination to respond to His direction, wake us up spiritually. It's like the morning light waking us from a dream that we are sinking in quicksand. Once awake, we know that the sluggishness or futility associated with being in the sand is unreal.

We don't have to give in to the dullness or indifference that keeps us from a worthy endeavor such as voting or getting involved in the community. Instead, this is a time to be active in prayer, opening our thought to the awakening and uplifting spiritual power of God, Life. This power enables us to act with authority - to reject indifference - and to triumph. God's children are spiritual, vital, and responsive to good.

Say goodbye to indifference. Discover that there are all kinds of opportunities for enjoying life and accomplishing good. There's no limit to what divine Life has to offer. The important thing is to accept God's generosity.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. Revelation 3:15

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society