TODAY is election day in many areas of the United States, and already news media are speculating about potential voter apathy and its effects on the political races. But there is more to it than that. To give in to the apathy that would keep us at home on election day -- or make us feel apathetic about the state of our communities and our world at other times -- deprives us of more than our right to vote. It is believing that we are powerless or that we don't matter.
We don't have to accept this condition. As individuals, we each have a unique, God-given identity that includes specific talents and abilities. These abilities are essential both to our own well-being and to the progress of the world. Through prayer we can begin to perceive their spiritual source and thus start freeing ourselves from apathy.
Our spiritual identity isn't based on how good-looking we are or how politically connected. It is the outcome of our relationship to God, Love. As His totally spiritual offspring, we are not meant to be victims of apathy or the materialism that would blind us to God's love for us. Our purpose is to express Love actively in all aspects of our lives.
As Love's children, it is natural for us to love ourselves and each other. To the degree that we are able to act from this more spiritual basis, we are less likely to yield to apathy or cynicism. This occurs because we are beginning to feel God's love for us and the spiritual purpose He has given each of us. Our greatest help in this effort is Christ Jesus' life and example. Jesus is undoubtedly the most influential person the world has ever known. He wasn't wealthy and held no official office. Yet nothing that happened in his life kept him from loving God and all humanity.
The basis for his ability to love freely was his certainty that all power came from God. He said, ``I can of mine own self do nothing.''1 His teachings bring out the fact that man is totally spiritual and forever with God. This means, in practical terms, that even when we seem powerless, we can always turn to God for help and that this help will lead us to a solution.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, spent much of her life helping mankind, working to make a difference. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.''2
This power is ours to rely on as we truly strive to follow Christ Jesus. Certainly no one would think of him as being apathetic! But he was also wise in his actions and acted with love even when he was being tough on an individual. Such love for mankind will do much to help us break out of apathetic moments or days.
In politics, for instance, we may find that we are less influenced by appeals that rely on the candidate's personality or that include vicious attacks on an opponent. Through prayer we become better able to discern which individual best expresses integrity, intelligence, and goodness. We also become less willing to sit out an election. This is not to say that the candidates will suddenly become perfect. But we will gradually realize that love and apathy are incompatible -- polar opposites of each other.
No matter what circumstances tempt us to feel powerless or apathetic, we have an active remedy with love. And as we become more experienced at loving more readily, we may well find that apathy and cynicism will no longer have a place in our lives.
1John 5:30. 2Science and Health, p. 264.