There’s a scene in Seven (or Se7en, if you want to be nerdy about it, which I do) where Somerset and Mills, played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, are discussing how bad the city has gotten. Somerset mentions that people don’t even seem to care about the crime anymore, saying: “Hell, I sympathize with them. Apathy is a solution.” (Emphasis mine.)
He goes on to say that it’s easier to beat a child than love it, or to steal something rather than earn it — to be clear, I don’t agree with that sentiment. But apathy as a solution? There are plenty of situations were I totally agree with that.
On the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast that posted today, Christopher and I get into a conversation about piracy, and piracy of our own works. I, shockingly (or perhaps not) don’t really care that there are several sites out there offering free copies of 47 Echo and Supercritical. My logic is that people who feel the need to pirate a sub-$5 ebook were never going to buy it anyway. I could spend my time fuming about illegal downloads, raise my blood pressure freaking out about “lost sales” (though really, it’s not like they were money in the bank to begin with)… or I could just not give a damn. Apathy is easier, and healthier. There’s not a lot I could do about piracy even if I had a good head of steam to go out and fight it, so why bother?
Piracy isn’t the only thing I’m apathetic about. Work politics? Don’t care. Bad Reviews? Don’t care. Someone said something awful about me? Don’t care. Schedules got messed up? Don’t care.
I’m not saying that I’m apathetic about everything, but I do make an attempt to prioritize. I try to see what stuff matters, and what stuff I can just let slide. And most of the things I deal with on a day-to-day basis get lumped into the second category.
So what could you stop caring about today that wouldn’t hurt you in the slightest to let go?