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Number One Football Fans“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ― Elie Wiesel

Mardi Gras on Saturday.

Super Bowl yesterday.

Fat Tuesday tomorrow.

Yes, the last few days certainly have provided perfect excuses to unplug, loosen the tie, eat the dips, sip the drinks and enjoy the parties.

And yet, like all parties, this too shall come to an end. 

Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent. It’s a 40-day period of renewed focus on penance, sacrifice, and heightened awareness leading to Easter. Traditionally, it’s a time to give something up.  As a child a few of the things I offered up included desserts, soda and television. In general, these are fine things to give up, but only really impacted me.

But the original goal of this season wasn’t simply to quietly endure suffering, or prove to ourselves and others how noble we are, but instead to dramatically transform our interior lives in order to transform the manner in which we show up in our external lives.

Pope Francis has coined an expression, globalization of indifference.  He goes onto share that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.”

He continues that, “We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”

An active spiritual life is not about reserved for an hour on Saturdays in temple or Sundays in church. It’s not as simple as following a few rules, singing a few songs, or offering up a few things.

No. It elevates the way we live, think, work and relate. It opens our eyes to suffering, possibility, brokenness and hope. It sensitizes us to the needs of others and our role in the solution. And it transforms us from the inside out. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

My friends, my encouragement regardless your personal creed or level of zest in your faith-walk is to step into this week striving to be highly sensitive to the needs of others.  My challenge is to become passionate in seeking out ways to serve, impact, inspire and encourage a global community starved for hope. And my reminder is to know that the only thing worse than hatred, or ugliness, or heresy or even death is a passive indifference in life.

This is the day open up our eyes and hearts. This is your day be on fire for life.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.

How will you fight indifference in your own life today? Share your commitment in the comments below.

1 reply on “The Death of Indifference”

I had a conversation with a friend this weekend and we were trying to figure out why we feel there are so many issues like indifference in our world today. One thing we came up with is the lack of “reverence.” Just a few decades ago, certain authority figures were revered. Our places of worship were reverenced. We had heroes whose personal lives and human failings were not so much the content for magazines, blogs, web posts and other media. As we’ve given up faith in the nobility, honor and truthfulness of our elected officials, athletes and even clergy, we have come to reverence our faith and even our God as if there is a truth about Him that we are just short of discovering – some fatal flaw.

There is a need for reverence. For our parents, for our friends, for our spouses, educators, leaders, etc. Not blind adherence but real respect for them as human beings deserving of “unconditional respect” as much as – and maybe even more than – “unconditional love.”

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.