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The definition of indifference is a lack of interest or concern. Being an indifferent person means being uninterested, unconcerned, lacking compassion, being casual, and/or not caring or taking action in an event that is happening around you. Some people are just indifferent, some people become indifferent because of the trauma of what has gone on around them in their life, making them use an indifferent attitude or becoming emotionless to cope.
There is such a thing as becoming indifferent because of the influence from a group, if we see others being indifferent or uncaring in the crowd we ourselves are tempted to be the same way.
Mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, use of certain medications, drugs or narcotics, and selfishness are also all causes of being an indifferent person as well. The world is becoming more and more selfish and very uncaring to the events that are happening to people around us.
- “Indifference is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don’t stand a chance against it.” – Joan D. Vinge
- “For those who govern, the first thing required is indifference to newspapers.” – Adolphe Thiers
- “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
- “The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden
- “Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man
- “Indifference is the strongest contempt.” – Ha Jin
- “The pessimist is seldom an agitating individual. His creed breeds indifference to others, and he does not trouble himself to thrust his views upon the unconvinced.” – Agnes Repplier
- “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” – J. K. Rowling
- “We live in an age of technology and science that demands proof, and yet we desire mystery. But when God gives us mystery, we seek to destroy it by gross indifference or childish reasoning.” – Mother Angelica
- “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller
- Indifference is dangerous, whether innocent or not.” – Pope Francis
- “In reality there is no cause or effect, there is only the indifference of the universe.” – Al Goldstein
- “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein
- “Rebellion has its roots in government’s indifference and incompetence.” – Mike Barnicle
- “A man’s vanity is more fragile that you might think. It’s easy for us to mistake shyness for coldness, and silence for indifference.” – Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter
- “Indifference is a misguided way of defending ourselves.” – Jack Kornfield
- “I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.” – Albert Camus
- “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” – Haile Selassie
- “Ignorance is a matter of laziness, indifference, and apathy.” – Tom Tancredo
- “If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.” – Jack Kerouac
- “Indifference creates an artificial peace.” – Mason Cooley
- “He had opened his heart to the sublime indifference of the universe.” – Albert Camus
- “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Not the torturer will scare me, nor the body’s final fall, nor the barrels of death’s rifles, nor the shadows on the wall, nor the night when to the ground the last dim star of pain, is hurled but the blind indifference of a merciless, unfeeling world.” – Roger Waters
- “Desire is half of life; indifference is half of death.” – Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam
- “Indifference to the fine arts comes close to barbarism.” – Karl Friedrich Schinkel
- “The great enemy of morality is indifference.” – Albert Schweitzer
- “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “We are born knowing nothing and with much striving we learn but a little; yet all the while we are bound by laws that hearken to no plea of ignorance, and measure out their rewards and punishments with calm indifference.” – Paul Elmer More
- “She knew with painful certainty that the opposite of love was not hate, but indifference.” – Susan Wiggs, Summer by the Sea
- “Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself. It is a silent justification affording evil acceptability in society.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
- “Indifference to all the refinements of life–it’s really shocking. Just Calvinism, that’s all. Calvinism without the excuse of Calvin’s theology.” – Aldous Huxley
- “Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another’s heart, or its flame burns low.” – Henry Ward Beecher
- “It would be doing me great injustice to think that I have any feeling of indifference to my country; I have more reason than anyone to feel, every day of my life, the value of the blood which flows in my veins, and it is only from prudence that at times I abstain from showing how proud I am of it.” – Marie Antoinette
- “Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference. Perhaps this is why we always love madly someone who treats us with indifference.” – Cesare Pavese, Il mestiere di vivere: Diario 1935-1950
- “Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.” – Oscar Wilde
- “But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- “Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor, never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.” – Elie Wiesel
- “Until we all start to take responsibility, until we do all we can to improve the character of our communities, we’ll never break the cycle of violence and indifference.” – Carrie P. Meek
- “They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.” – Anton Chekhov, Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov
- “There is so much indifference in the face of suffering. May we overcome indifference with concrete acts of charity.” – Pope Francis
- “Careless indifference and bodily restlessness in meditation cause negative vibrations.” – Paramahansa Yogananda
- “Indifference is the dead weight of history.” – Antonio Gramsci
- “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 M. Hutchins
- “There are many different types of racism from people of different colours and nationalities. There is no vaccine to fight this and no antibiotics to take. It’s a dangerous and infectious virus which is strengthened by indifference and inaction.” – Kevin-Prince Boateng
- “Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” – Joyce Rachelle
- “Are you saying a society wracked by plague is preferable to one wracked by indifference?” – Bernard Beckett
- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
- “We win with facts that are well expressed and frequently communicated; we lose with silence and indifference to the broader social context.” – Richard Edelman
- “Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.” – Virginia Woolf
- “Indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain of a man, is the basis of his sublimity when it does not.” – Thomas Hardy
- “The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.” – Bess Myerson
- “Affection can withstand very severe storms of vigor, but not a long polar frost of indifference.” – Walter Scott
This video is a great discussion of how indifference affects relationships with narcissistic people that may be manipulating you.
If you watch you will learn more about a therapist’s perspective on indifference in relationships.
You or someone you know might be an indifferent person or at least feel indifferent at times. There are of course steps you can take to try to not be indifferent such as getting a new feel for life, forcing yourself to conversate and help others, or there is no shame in just seeking help from a professional to get to the root cause of your indifference and work on becoming better.
Some of these quotes might shine a light on the meaning of indifference to you, or some may be relatable to you and help inspire you to be a better human being. These quotes might make you think of the actions of a friend or loved one, start a conversation and share these quotes with that person, they may not even know that they are being indifferent.