Harrison Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, a fugitive from the law, an innocent man falsely indicted for murdering his wife. In the movie, “Fugitive”, Chief Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) relentlessly hunts Kimble. Dr. Kimble slips down a storm drain, into the tunnels. Gerard follows Kimble, slips in rushing water, drops his gun. Dr. Kimble grabs the gun, points the pistol at Gerard: “I did not kill my wife!”. Chief Deputy Marshall Gerard’s responds “I don’t Care!”
The words “I don’t care” scream apathy, the opposite of love, a “no-man’s land”. We have no business in the realm of apathy. Adolescents I worked with years ago, removed from parents’ custody, often expressed: “I DON’T CARE!”, words that reflect apathy. For kids living in a group home, the words are, in reality, a cry from within, a challenge: “Care for me! I dare you.” These kids had very few people to stick with them. Case managers come and go; counselors come and go; group homes come and go. Some of these kids would never be reunited with their parents. When we hear apathy, something else might be happening. An alternative to vulnerability is to raise a shield of apathy, for protection. Apathy blocks an unwanted emotional reaction. Like the angry adolescent living in a group home, longing to be loved, apathy can be a challenge: “Do you really care? Are you authentic, or a poser? Or are you going to fade away?”
What is the apathy about?