Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Apathy

"Persecution was at least a sign of personal interest. Tolerance is composed of nine parts of apathy to one of brotherly love." - Frank Moore Colby

"The apathy of the modern voter is the confusion of the modern reformer." -

"In this sullen apathy neither true wisdom nor true happiness can be found." - David Hume

"It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people. It may be that our generation will have to repent not only for the diabolical actions and vitriolic words of the children of darkness, but also for the crippling fears and tragic apathy of the children of light." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is." -

"What is the meaning of life? The meaning may not be expressed in words. It transcends the mind and the intellect. The meaning is to be experienced, realized... It is open to everyone who would live according to certain disciplines... The discipline of duty. Life is a field of duty, not a dance of desires... The discipline of service... We are here to help others... The opposite of love is not hate but apathy... The discipline of silence... The meaning of life is to love God and to give the service of love to the suffering children of God. And to the birds and animals who are God’s children as well." - Dada Vaswani, born Jashan Pahalraj Vaswani

"Think’st thou there is no tyranny but that of blood and chains? The despotism of vice, the weakness and the wickedness of luxury, the negligence, the apathy, the evils of sensual sloth - produce then thousand tyrants, whose delegated cruelty surpasses the worst acts of one energetic master, however harsh and hard in his own bearing." -

"Envy not the old man the tranquillity of his existence, nor yet blame him if it sometimes looks like apathy. Time, the inexorable, does not threaten him with the scythe so often as with the sand-bag. He does not cut, but he stuns and stupefies." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." - Robert Hutchins, fully Robert Maynard Hutchins

"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings." -

"Indifference and apathy have one name - betrayal." - Salvatore Quasimodo

"Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbours of tolerance are apathy and weakness." - James Goldsmith, fully Sir James Michael "Jimmy" Goldsmith

"The worst type of sin, in fact the only “mortal sin” which has enslaved man for the greater part of history, is the institutionalized sin. Under the institution, vice appears to be, or is actually turned into, virtue. Apathy toward evil is thus engendered; recognition of sin becomes totally effaced; sinful institutions become absolutized, almost idolized, and sin becomes absolutely moral." - Laurenti Magesa

"If our peace be but the peace of the sensualist satisfying pleasure, if it be but the peace of mental torpor and inaction, the peace of apathy, or the peace of the soul dead in trespasses and sins, we may whisper to ourselves, “Peace, peace,” but there will be no peace; there is not the peace of unity, nor the peace of God, for the peace of God is the living peace of love." -

"The act of openly challenging basic beliefs, according to Socrates, can save a society from its ignorance and self-destructive apathy. A society that’s too uncritically apathetic won’t stay vigorous and vital for long." - Judith Barad

"Slums may be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium." -

"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Apathy is a sort of living oblivion." - Horace Greeley

"Virtue... in so far as it is based on internal freedom, contains a positive command for man, namely, that he should bring all his powers and inclinations under his rule (that of reason); and this is a positive precept of command over himself which is additional to the prohibition, namely, that he should not allow himself to be governed by his feelings and inclinations (the duty of apathy); since, unless reason takes the reins of government into its own hands, the feelings and inclinations play the master over the man." - Immanuel Kant

"Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." - James Goldsmith

"It’s about whether we’re going to be able to look forward to our descendants and hand this world over to them in much better shape, so they will look back on us with kindness and with praise – rather than cursing us for our apathy, or our narcissism, or our refusal to stand up tall for justice and freedom in the world." - Ralph Nader

"Slums may be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium." - Cyril Connolly, fully Cyril Vernon Connolly

"The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-don't-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one." - Joost Meerloo. fully Joost Abraham Maurits Meerlo

"We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and postive action." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"True religion is not a narrow dogma. It is not external observance. It is faith in God and living in the presence of God. It means faith in a future life, in truth and Ahimsa. There prevails today a sort of apathy towards these things of the Spirit." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy." - Charles De Montesquieu, formally Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear." - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

"Strong feelings do not necessarily make a strong character. The strength of a man is to be measured by the power of the feelings he subdues not by the power of those which subdue him." - William Carleton

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl, fully Viktor Emil Frankl

"Richard didn't even have time to ask if I thought I'd ever amount to anything in this life before I looked him eye to eye and said, I already have, mister." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"The best protection any woman can have . . . is courage." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one." - Emil M. Cioran