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Disillusionment with Society, Lack of Interest or Motivation to Contribute

I find myself increasingly disillusioned with society and with my peers. In my classes, I feel like there is a lack of focus on important issues and my attempts to provoke conversations on current affairs in the world and how they should be dealt with, specifically in terms of race, domestic policy, and global issues. I feel as if moving on to higher education will not be worth it. I feel if I were to apply myself to some field and envelop myself in my work that it would allow free-loaders to succeed and ride my coattails. I feel as if my peers are rats who lie about their feelings and their interests. They’ll argue that they care very much for social issues such as global minorities facing persecution (the Rohingya, Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Sudanese) yet they never say anything about these issues unless prompted by me. Furthermore, those conversations are one-sided and ephemeral because they quickly grow bored discussing issues they don’t care about. Should I continue to pursue personal goals?

Not everyone cares about the same things in the same way, with the same intensity as you do. What is important to you doesn’t have to be as important to others — and thinking it should might be something you’ll want to challenge. Your lack of interest in their concerns, and boredom discussing issues you don’t care about is exactly what you are accusing your “free-loaders” of doing. You seem dismissive and uninterested in their perspectives while wanting them to be passionate about yours.

To engage in true societal transformation requires listening to obverse perspectives, gaining support for multiple concerns, standing up to your beliefs, and tolerance. As far as going on for higher education I think you could have much to offer. Along these lines, I am reminded of the words of Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn: “It’s a universal law — intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”

from Ask the Therapist

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