Overcoming Indifference for the Common Good!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Is it any wonder that our governments in this country are daily growing in systemic evil and corruption? Are we surprised at their ineptitude and profligacy? Are we too -the ordinary men and women citizens of this great country- not like our so called leaders? Our governments at all levels are grossly indifferent to their bounden duties of protecting lives and properties of their citizens.

And the citizens too are indifferent to the well-being of one another. They are also indifferent to the activities of the government. The result is the collapse of ideas and commitments for the Common Good. In fact, people become more and more selfish. And life in dignity and freedom become a mirage. It is therefore logical that we are the architects of our own problems. Indifference has eaten deep into our systems. Human promotion and well-being of the citizens demand that we do away with all forms of indifference.

It was Pope Francis in his 2016 Message for the celebration of the XLIX World Day of Peace that identified Indifference as a tragedy that threatens out interpersonal relationships as well as world peace among nations. It is a menace that shows itself in various situations. According to him 'Indifference to God is the most acute of all forms of indifference.

It makes us believe according to the Holy Father that we are the source and creator of ourselves, our lives and society. We feel self-sufficient, prepared not only to find a substitute for God but to do completely without him. As a result, we feel that we owe nothing to anyone but ourselves, and we claim only rights.' There are also other forms of indifference against our neighbours. It shows itself in lack of concern for what is happening around us, especially if it does not touch us directly.

As a result we grow incapable of feeling compassion for the plight of others. We become as it were insulated from what is affecting others. Yet we are not islands. We live in a human society where we are connected and interconnected in a type of web with others. We need urgently to recover from the tyranny of indifference for the common good of all.

For instance, if the government of the day is reckless about its responsibilities to the people, the situation cannot be left on its own. Something must be done and done urgently to wake the government up to some level of consciousness about its duties to the citizens. Organizations and groups of individuals who are vested with the duties of care for the common good must not rest on their oars.

After all, the government has no other better business to carry out than the well- being of its citizens. And where the government is adamant and does not deliver on services, the citizens must not allow such a government to continue on the pedals of power. Credible institutions and agencies of human promotions should not allow the decadence of the government to persist.

But what do we say and do about the indifference of the people towards the government? This is most atrocious. The common people of the state are the immediate victims of government ineptitude. It is most dangerous when the people become also indifferent to the indifference of the government.

Advocacy and empowerments ministries should brace up to redress the oddities of mass indifference on the part of the people in the context of a dilapidating common good. Let it be said and said loudly that indifference in all its forms is an ill-wind that blows no one any good. All hands must be on deck to stem the tide and menace of this cankerworm!

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