Quotes of Apathy (if you care)

Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie
Dust unto dust
The calm, sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must;
Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwell
Too strong to strive
Within each steel-bound coffin of a cell,
Buried alive;
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak!

Ralph Chaplin, “Mourn Not the Dead”

Indifference is a modern day virtue.


Scientists announced today that they have discovered a cure for apathy. However, they claim no one has shown the slightest interest in it.

George Carlin

Wherever there is degeneration and apathy, there also is sexual perversion, cold depravity, miscarriage, premature old age, grumbling youth, there is a decline in the arts, indifference to science, and injustice in all its forms.

Anton Chekhov, Letter, to his editor and friend, A.S. Suvorin., December 27, 1889

Indifference creates an artificial peace.

Mason Cooley, City Aphorisms, Ninth Selection, New York , 1992

Indifference is an excellent substitute for patience.

Mason Cooley, City Aphorisms, Second Selection, New York , 1985

Apathy is one of the characteristic responses of any living organism when it is subjected to stimuli too intense or too complicated to cope with. The cure for apathy is comprehension.

John Dos Passos, The Prospect Before Us, “The Preparation of a New Society,” Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Apathy is a sort of living oblivion.

Horace Greeley

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 Maynard Hutchins

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

Aldous Huxley

“Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let things take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil.”

I Ching

Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws–but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted–when we tolerate what we know to be wrong–when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened–when we fail to speak up and speak out–we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.

Robert Francis Kennedy

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”


A university professor set an examination question in which he asked what is the difference between ignorance and apathy. The professor had to give an A+ to a student who answered: I don’t know and I don’t care.

Richard Pratt

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