(S)He handed it to me on a silver platter called our Lightbox, and quite possibly that was his/her idea, but inspiration had me pondering the word ‘Indifference’. It’ll take me a while to exhaust that energy, so as an appetizer, here is what the dictionary has to say about it:
Definition of INDIFFERENCE
Examples of INDIFFERENCE
- She was amazed that some people could watch the trial with indifference.
- She watched them with a cool indifference.
First Known Use of INDIFFERENCE
Related to INDIFFERENCE
Have fun pondering, and I’ll see you all after dinner!
Not quite after dinner though, because this baby needs some time to cook: half a chicken, and no, I’m not indifferent to its fate, but grateful it has chosen to feed me. Indifference is quite a difference in whether it is received, perceived or dished out. The fact that someone chooses to show little emotion does not necessarily mean that he or she has none! In the end, if we want to judge, we can only judge by their actions, instead of by the emotions, the hopes and the dreams they have…..
I’d like to start with the ancient, archaic definition:
"lack of difference or distinction between two or more things"
What I love about this, is that it is entirely neutral: it just states that there is no difference, just like there isn’t between any of us. But somewhere along the line, things changed. Because if you look at the related words, they are almost all negative concepts in the mind of the average human. Having at one time considered myself to be a Stoic, I found that the concept of indifference was something that occupied a stoic mind quite intensely: "Am I really that heartless?" would lead to juggling of words in my mind all night long, trying to arrive at clearer definitions, or rather clearer feelings about various concepts.
And believe me Stoics are not heartless: but since they endure things far more than normal people, they also tend to believe that talent inherent in others. Finally, that evolved some more, until even that group could no longer hold me. Yeah, I have a history of not fitting in, but then any balloon has that problem. Call me an airhead, but I’m indifferent to it: not that I don’t care, I just am more aware of the stuff that can hurt me. Words don’t, being a writer gives me the privilege of calling them friends.
The people at Zutphen station will have had their own opinion of my indifference, if they watched the scene enacted for them last Saturday night (movie night, remember?):
We walked from the cinema to the bus stop, through the train station because that is the shortest route. Halfway down the corridor, a local homeless guy was doing his thing. It is rumored that he has a home just like the rest of us, and that may well be true: he may just be there to point people at their own indifference in a subtle way. Since we didn’t know when the bus was leaving, I dictated quite a pace to my ladies. We went right past the guy, before he even could react.
But he knows me: I gave him something before, so I was an easy target. Before we were five meters away, he had caught up, and actually asked what he already radiated to all of the people there as well. What to do? Frankly, I don’t give a shit what the bystanders would think if I gave him nothing. It’s not like all of them do it! I did care about making that bus, and I did care about the need he had expressed. Since I could not read his mind, I could only act on what I did have access to: the request, and the way it made me feel. Despite the fact that my budget was tight this month, and our cinema trip was the treat that pulled the stretch out of it some more, I pulled my wallet, all the while walking on. He was in luck, because there was about five euros in change there. It will have looked crazy, and it was: coming to the bus, we saw that it didn’t leave until half an hour later. Another wink from the Cosmos saying I could have just stopped and helped the guy in peace…..
Still no chicken, so let’s get on with this. Weird thing is, that as we progress, we tend to learn that we are all different, and yet all the same. I guess it’s just what you focus on: the sensation the related words of this one give you, or the one radiated by the antonyms. Both relate to Indifference, but they are like the views of the optimist and the pessimist on a glass half filled with some liquid. "Ting" Oops, that will be my dinner, be right back…..
Isn’t indifference quite the opposite of what we’re doing here? We applaud the sameness of things, because it pleases us to perceive the ultimate Oneness that is already here. But that sameness (archaic indifference) means more acceptance, and more acceptance means letting thing be what they are. Now as a matter of fact I may have done it completely wrong: instead of giving the homeless guy money because I wanted it and he wanted it, maybe I should have just accepted him as he was: "wanting money". Just like Henk, a psychic, said to me once when I handed him a fifty because I thought his involvement in my life was well worth it: "Now why did you do that?". He had me thinking about it all week, but the end result was: "because I wanted to do it!"
Maybe we just fear deep inside that the return to Oneness has us leaving behind our differences. I know I think about that every now and then. But the outcome is actually always the same: It’s in difference that we find the sameness, for after all, if there are no different entities, then the whole concept of Sameness would be void…
Love the difference, go back to archaic times!