Apathy is the enemy of accomplishment 

Chrissy Miller, News Editor

It is easy to want to disengage from what is going on around the world or even on the local level when it seems like nothing anyone does makes much of a difference.

However, not engaging at all can be destructive to both oneself and the community. It is almost effortless to become a part of the bystander effect and assume someone else will vote or fill a vacant seat on a committee.

If everyone thinks like this and does not put forth the effort to care, nothing will get done. Whether it be a university or a town, everyone has their part to play, and it is not a part that can be accomplished by sitting on the sidelines.

Participation in any form is important. Even something as simple as keeping informed on local and national news can help a person gain perspective. Keeping informed can also help show respect for the issues and successes of those who may not be in a person’s circle of communication.

It is not enough to have a small group of people in the community who are always running around and who will do anything to hold the community together. People make mistakes, need sleep and eventually break down.

When someone does not even make the smallest attempt to keep themselves informed and get involved in areas which they excel at, they are spitting in the people’s faces who work so hard to keep everything running smoothly.

Actions have consequences, including the choosing to be willfully ignorant and let life-changing opportunities pass by. The sad thing is, even when people recognize the significance of passing up chances to get involved, the long-term consequences escape them.

Take volunteering as an example. In the short term, not helping pull weeds at the Douglass Hart Nature Center or not doing activities and visiting the elderly at Brookstone Estates is not really hurting anyone and can result in a peaceful Saturday.

In the long term, though, a few hours of a Saturday that would otherwise be unmemorable is a small price to pay for a beautiful, well-kept center livening up a senior citizen’s week. Besides helping the community, it can also present an opportunity to make memories and even learn about a time before you existed.

If volunteering does not sound appealing, there are so many other ways to engage that play to whatever skill a person possesses.

The fact is, Eastern is smaller than it has been in previous years. There are fewer students, faculty and staff. This can be an intimidating topic to approach, but it must be faced. Moving forward, dedication and passion can help create positive change, but apathy has no place.

There is no time to keep desperately trying to get people to care. Regardless of position or major, everyone is needed and has unique skills and perspectives. Being active and vocal in areas where a person is proficient at and supportive of others in areas that may not be our own strong points is how Eastern and the surrounding community can continue to develop.

For instance, I am not the world’s greatest mathematician. However, some students who excel in that area tutor in Old Main so my weakness in that area can be helped by their strength. Then, because I can understand the material better, I am able to help out with tutoring elementary students at the Newman Center, which is one of my strengths.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all on the same team working towards the same goal. If everyone uses their strengths to help out and puts forth effort to care just a bit more, everything would go more smoothly.

It is not enough to have examples just the first weekend with Prowl. It has to go farther than a six-week program. Every person on this campus needs to know they are necessary for Eastern to be successful. If people realize this, maybe apathy can be eliminated.

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].