Slideshow image

I am increasingly struck by how common apathy and acedia have become in our common life: how many people continue to do things that they know are unhealthy and could even kill them; how common is the intellectual laziness that leads people to settle for black and white answers on issues for which there are many shades of gray, how voters are so easily swayed by racism, scaremongering and fear, how populist politicians exploit people’s anger rather than offer serious and reasoned policy proposals. Recent polls show that most Canadians know that climate change is now an emergency that threatens the well-being of our children and grandchildren, but most aren’t willing to support any serious action that would cause them inconvenience. Only rampant acedia, widespread apathy can explain that. And perhaps it is only the pervasive cynicism bred by rampant acedia that can explain the Brexit decision in Britain or the election of Trump in the U.S. This is indeed the golden age of acedia. That means that resisting acedia may not only help us individually but be what saves the world.