“A Numb Little Bug: How Apathy & Cynicism Affect Individuals & Relationships"
written by Elise Hosfield, class of 2023

I never did much introspective pondering prior to transferring to The Master's Study for high school. Middle school saw me through a time of completing the assignments I was given; then forgetting all non-relevant information immediately afterwards. The Master's Study introduced me to a completely new and stressful lifestyle. A lifestyle that I had to figure out how to navigate by myself. The elements of a rapidly changing environment overwhelmed my ability to cope emotionally and mentally. This period of life forced me to enter a fluctuating state of being where I was stable one second, then off the deep end the next. The only way I could get beyond those "deep end" episodes was to mentally and emotionally shut down.

The worst moment happened over J-Term freshman year. The pants I had gotten for Christmas were the wrong size, so we had to go back to the store and find the right pair. To the outside observer, this was a mundane task that should have taken five minutes to complete. The only problem with this situation was that I had absolutely no interest in participating in this trip; even though it was for me. In fact, I had no interest in anything. I was numb. And at the time, I did not understand why that was a problem.

A 15-year-old girl bogged down by loads of schoolwork, lack of friendships, and hormonal imbalances does not really possess the capacity for wondering why exactly she can not seem to care about the right size of paints. Likewise she can not care if she eats the rest of the day, if her sister needs help completing an assignment, or if she should attempt to form a stronger relationship with her mother. That is exactly where I was. I did not have a clue why I felt nothing. And, unfortunately, it would take another two and a half school years for me to finally understand the role that apathy can play in a person's development.

It was a song released March 10, in 2022 that finally began drawing the picture of what I had been feeling. "Do you ever get a little bit tired of life, like you're not really happy but you don't want to die?" The pop song "Numb Little Bug" by Em Beihold blared from my phone screen in Instagram reels. It seemed like every other swipe someone was using that song as the backing track. I did not think much of it or even really listen to the lyrics, but one reel caught my attention. The person in the reel was using the song to describe her current emotional and mental state which convinced me to actually listen to the lyrics. I sat in my bed stunned for a few seconds. This song was putting into words exactly what I had been feeling for the past three and a half years.

A textbook diagnosis and example of what the mental condition of apathy was in song form. This prompted me to do an internal evaluation which revealed a shocking (and in hindsight) frightening result. My go to response for any type of turmoil was to completely shut down and stop caring about both myself and those around me. Apathy had made me careless and cold-hearted. My default setting of not caring gave way to cynicism and an inability to be empathetic. It made me angry and unpleasant to be around. It made me insensitive and rude. Once I realized the characteristics that had festered in the confusing void that was my mind, I began to notice the same characteristics on social media, in movies, and in music. Characteristics and actions that have led me to one conclusion: Apathy and cynicism are the opposition of love and compassion that dismantles and destroys relationships.

How exactly do apathy and cynicism have this massive effect on relationships? First, one has to understand what apathy is and how its characteristics relate to the individual as a whole. The root word apathy comes from the Greek origin of apathēs, which means "without feeling, without suffering or having suffered," (Online Etymology). The basic principle is that a person feels nothing on the emotional level. Leon F. Seltzer PhD, a former college professor at Queens College and Cleveland State University, says that apathy "is a feeling. But it’s also an attitude. And sadly, that attitude is one of indifference ... unconcern ... unresponsiveness ... detachment ... and dispassion," (Seltzer).

In layman's terms, apathy is the feeling of not feeling anything. It does not simply rule out the negative emotions (sadness, jealousy, aloneness), it eliminates all of them. As apathy removes one's emotions from the picture, the individual in question retreats into himself/herself and cuts off all emotional communication with the outside world. This leaves an affected individual in a state of isolation; and to the outward observer, completely invulnerable. Invulnerable in that emotionally, an apathetic person cannot be persuaded, manipulated, or abused. He or she can cope with the most brutal of human experiences without a breakdown because he or she cannot feel the devastation of such an experience.

Apathy can be both a blessing and a curse. Depending on the type of situation, taking a more indifferent approach could quell an emotional fire to ensure that a situation does not get out of hand. Other times those emotions overwhelm one's ability to see sense in even the most simple of situations. While being blissfully cut off from one's own emotions can be considered a relief, it is also dangerous territory to pass through without a proper understanding and control of one's apathetic response. The most important distinction that has to be made when dealing with apathy is that apathy and depression are not the same thing.

True, apathy and depression contain similar symptoms, but they originate from different things. Apathy is an emotional response to an influx of overwhelming emotions. According to Mayo clinical psychologist Dr. Criag Sawchuk, depression is categorized as a mood disorder that causes a sense of sadness that will not leave (Sawchuk). Depression does not just affect someone's mood. Sawchuk explains that depression affects someone's emotional, mental and physical state.

On the physical level, depression can force your body to slow down, make you more tired and interrupt your sleep schedule. It can make concentrating on even the most simple of tasks difficult as well as tanking your motivation and drive to accomplish any goals that you have set for yourself. On the emotional scale, a person experiencing depression would normally feel sad, irritable and in some cases, apathetic. Mentally, depression can give the vast majority of your thoughts and opinions a negative connotation. It can leave you with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Depression can project self-loathing, and in the most extreme cases, instigate self-harm.

Depression goes well beyond apathy in terms of symptoms and complexity, but oftentimes they go hand-in-hand. Although depression seems like the monster in the room, apathy is not overshadowed by depression nor does it pale in comparison. In truth depression and apathy can be categorized as two sides of the same coin. However, depression at its core is a negative and damaging mood disorder. Apathy only truly causes harm when it is abused.

At some point in our lives everyone has heard the parallel that hate and love are the enemies of one another. They lie on two completely different ends of the emotion spectrum that inspire action and feeling. It would make sense that only the two most extreme emotions a human being can experience are the arch enemies of each other. When in reality, hate is the flip-side of love, not its true opposition.

When looking at love one always thinks about it in the romantic field or the love between a parent and a child. The root principle of love is a deep affection for something or someone, and there are four basic types of love. Eros is the passionate love one relates to romance like mentioned earlier. Phillia is the love of equals, such as one would have for a sibling or best friend. Storge is considered to be the love that parents have for their children. Mothers experience this type of love best and it is considered the most natural form of love. Finally there is Agape love, which is the unconditional love for mankind. As in the love human beings have for one another as a species (Jones).

With each type of love, no matter which it is, there are similar characteristics. If you love someone, you are thinking about him/her and you care about his/her wellbeing and health. You want what is best for that person. You desire that he or she will live a long, stress free life, and you enjoy this person's company. This is where hate is the inverse of love.

Hate is a universal human emotion just as much as love is. Hate is the very strong dislike and distaste for something or someone. It is often associated with anger and rudeness when it comes to that thing or person. But much like love, when someone hates something or someone, he or she still cares about that thing or person. That thing or person is not beneath notice; but there is an intense, negative passion towards the source of the hate.

While love and hate are the head and tail of a single coin, apathy is the head of an entirely different one. "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." Elie Wiesel put a spotlight on this idea following World War II. The Jewish Holocaust survivor from Auschwitz with a self imposed ten year vow of silence spoke these words when he received The Nobel Prize on December 10, 1986. He went on to speak about his experience when his world was turned upside down. In his words during that speech one principle phrase was repeated, "the world kept silent." As in, everyone knew of the horrors happening in Europe under Hitler's Third Reich, but nobody truly wanted to do anything about it or even address it. Wiesel went on to say, "Yes, I have faith. Faith in God and even in His creation. Without it no action would be possible. And action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all..... "(Denk). The action Wiesel is referencing is the presence of love and compassion for all who had suffered during this time. The greatest triumph Hitler could have accomplished would be getting away with all of those deaths while the entire world moved on like nothing had happened.

Philosopher and observer Scott Dunn discusses the principle of indifference in contrast to love in his article "The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy". He wrote, "With apathy, there is zero occupation of the mind about the other. The other might as well be dead. Apathy does not care either way, anyway. Apathy says that I choose not to let you occupy my mind in any way. I’m done" (Dunn). This thought process is the exact opposite of what goes through someone's mind about someone that he/she hates. He or she might say that they're done, that they do not care. But that person still occupies his/her thoughts, which means that he or she does still care about what that person is doing. When one loves or hates something, he or she cares about it. When one cares about nothing, he or she feels nothing.

Not caring is categorized as indifference. And according to author and theologian David Augsberger, "Neutrality is a crime lower than a crime, because indifference is the sin worse than sin," (Augsberger). Now Elie Weisel made note in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech that remaining neutral in times of crisis helps those who are committing the wrong doing, not those who are being wronged. While neutrality is not always a bad decision that hurts others, in cases of clear right and wrong it is a cause for concern when one chooses to be apathetic about a clear injustice or evil that is taking place before one's eyes.

This indifference to public crime is categorized as the Bystander Effect. "The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological theory that states that an individual’s likelihood of helping decreases when passive bystanders are present in an emergency situation," (Emeghara). There are three specific 'reasons' or psychological processes that have been identified for the Bystander Effect. The first is diffusion of responsibility {everyone else around me is also responsible}, evaluation apprehension {fear of judgment from everyone else}, and pluralistic ignorance {relying on the actions of others to define one's own reaction} (Emeghara). Social self-consciousness and apathy are the root of the Bystander Effect. The self-consciousness about one's ability and others perception freezes people in high stress and potentially dangerous situations. When paired with individual apathy where the bystander cannot even care about himself or herself, the possibility of helping the endangered person or even caring about what is happening becomes impossible.

So where does that impossibility leave everyone who exists in a public setting? Of course it starts with the individual person who is experiencing apathy. That apathy could be pointed towards or the result of any number of things or reasons. A person may be apathetic towards schoolwork, towards a job, towards people that they used to get along with. The number of areas where someone can be apathetic is endless. That indifference towards one tiny thing then starts to bleed into every facet of a person's life. Once the bleeding effect has started, that apathy coin is flipped. When it lands on tails is when one truly starts to recognize the slow, methodical invasion of cynicism.

In his article "Live Like the Ancient Cynics," Arthur C. Brooks wrote, "Cynicism–the belief that people are generally morally bankrupt and behave treacherously in order to maximize self-interest– dominates American culture," (Brooks). The only part of this quote that need be rephrased would be the America portion, because cynicism exists everywhere that apathy is present. At its foundation cynicism is the idea that people are selfish, corrupt and just waiting for the opportunity to ruin someone's life. Cynical people have a negative outlook on the world. They are constantly watching for people close to them to make mistakes or come off as selfish so they can say, "see I told you."

A cynical person sees the glass half empty, and an apathetic person does not care that the glass exists. Together, that is a deadly and potentially harmful combination. Courtney Roach was a military leader who observed many under his command display amazing acts of moral courage. In his article "Moral Courage – The link with Apathy and Cynicism and the Antidote", Roach spoke about his own shortcomings, and how he was kept from similar acts of courage, "Apathy robbed me of my endurance, and cynicism robbed me of my conviction to my principles – the two critical factors in displaying moral courage."

To have endurance means that one has to care enough about the situation to train themselves and be fit for the task. Conviction is one's loyalty to a cause or belief. Cynicism fools people into believing that the cause or belief is unnecessary or completely false, while apathy forces a person to not care about that conviction in the first place. Once the goals of apathy and cynicism have been achieved, what is left is the apathetic person, someone who does not care. Now that the individual is too cynical about the situation and does not truly care about what is going on, that person becomes a bystander.

Now, you might be wandering, what exactly does this mean and why should I care? "Not my circus, not my monkeys" as the popular saying goes. After all, opinions and some morals are subjective. Obviously murder and stealing are wrong, but if someone's in a fight with another person it is not really any of our business as bystanders to get involved right? To a certain degree of severity these thought processes can be excused a majority of the time. However, it is the more extreme situations that can turn life-threatening very quickly where being a bystander is concerning.

So how does one go about "solving" the apathy and cynicism problem in society? It all starts with the individual who is experiencing the condition. If apathy tells a person that he or she should not care, and cynicism says that all people are bad and will do bad things; then the first step would be to tackle apathy, get to the root of the problem so to speak. Afterall you truly cannot have any form of severe cynicism unless some portion of carelessness is involved. Once the person decides to focus on the apathy, then there is a clear roadmap to understanding and treating a careless disposition. The first step is to learn how to cultivate sympathy.

Sympathy is the ability to understand what another person is feeling. They can relate to another person because he or she has suffered or endured a similar type of situation or treatment. Sympathy invokes a connection between two people in which the person cares about what the other is feeling or enduring. Sympathy is a subdivision of love in that it is the opposite of apathy and attributes itself towards less completely negative emotions and more positive ones directed at others. When utilizing sympathy the main idea is to not get distracted by the situation or how you yourself might feel about it. The goal is not to solve the issue or situation but to pay attention to how the person is feeling (Sharpe). A sympathetic person faces down the first premise of apathy, caring about others, but one cannot just cultivate sympathy and the split between apathy and love is completely healed. The next portion of combating indifference would be to master Empathy.

Now Empathy resides in the same plane of existence as sympathy and it is easy to confuse them, but they both have very distinct and important roles. Sympathy is simply caring about the person and understanding how he or she is feeling. But without a form of empathy, sympathy just invokes feelings of pity and responsibility for the suffering person. There is not a deep, emotional connection or understanding beyond the simple observation of "This person is crying. I should probably go over and pat him/her on the back and say that everything will be alright." While being able to notice that a person is in pain is very helpful, if there is no emotional connection to the person then sympathy can be viewed as a shallow attempt to look like you care.

This is where empathy comes into play. You have established that you see a person in pain. You feel badly for them, but you are unsure what to do with that information given that you do not have an established relationship with this person. Empathy is the next subdivision of
love where a person is able to literally feel what other people are experiencing by "walking in someone else's shoes". Empathy is caused by what some scientists have deemed "mirror neurons," where empathy may be cultivated naturally based on what one person has seen (Schairer). For example, if you watched me stub my pinky toe on the corner of a wall you might feel a semblance of pain in your own pinky toe as well.

Empathy joins sympathy as a subdivision of love because one cannot truly love another person without first being able to understand a person's pain and feel it at the same time. However, you cannot have just one and expect a major change in your heart and mind about other people. As Jeffery Bernstein, Ph.D. put it, "Sympathy leads us to feel that we have to do something. Empathy empowers us by providing a special sense of togetherness and connection that is formed by powerful, mutual identification for the one you love," (Bernstien). Sympathy is the first step towards fighting apathy, but Empathy does the heavy lifting.

In this way both empathy and sympathy take a stand directly against apathy, but what about cynicism? The idea that all people are inherently bad and there is no form of redemption for them is not as easy to come up against as simply being indifferent is. Cynicism turns normally pleasant people into individuals that most choose not to associate with. All because a cynic cannot really see any good in anything. So how exactly should someone go about defeating the cynicism within himself or herself?

This is where compassion enters the scene. Recognizing one's existence and point of view, then being able to feel what someone is going through will only take a person far enough to counteract apathy. Sympathy serves to make a cynical person angry from the pity and empathy makes the person trying to help more of a cynic. Compassion is the bridge between the recognition and distrust that softens hearts and brings about the hope of goodness and redemption.

But what is compassion? Compassion in its truest form is a mix of both empathy and sympathy in the greatest regard. The original Latin term for compassion {compassio} was used alongside and in place of the Latin word sympatheia {sympathy} which means "to suffer with'' (Soto-Rubio). In terms of practice, compassion goes further than sympathy and empathy. "The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others and then take action to help," (Understanding the Meaning). You might be asking, how exactly is that different from empathy? Well, because there is a difference between feeling and doing.

You might have heard the phrase, "actions speak louder than words" at some point in your life. It is an old and well known saying that holds a lot of truth, especially in terms of compassion because, "Empathy is an ability to relate to another person's pain as if it's your own. Empathy, like sympathy, is grounded in emotion and feeling, but empathy doesn't have an active component to it," (Understanding the Meaning). Both sympathy and empathy focus on the emotional portion of human existence in the same way apathy does. That is why empathy and sympathy are needed in every human being.

When it comes to cynicism vs compassion one has to think in terms of both action vs inaction, while also considering negative and positive worldviews. Cynics believe that everyone is bad and there is no one worth saving. Cynics do not care about others therefore they have absolutely know moral or emotional obligation to help anyone because "we're all gonna die anyway" so what exactly is the point? Negative worldview plus inaction equals zero emotional capacity and zero compassion.

So how exactly does someone go from a negative and cynical worldview to a worldview that affirms a positive outlook and a desire to help others? The key to changing one's worldview is to change one's attitude and mindset under the guise of compassion. American author and theologian Fredrick Buechner stated that compassion is a reactive measure in human beings,

Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too (Understanding the Meaning).

Likewise research has shown that when a human experiences compassion, the heart rate slows down, oxytocin (bonding hormone) is secreted, and brain regions housing the sensors for empathy, caregiving and pleasure activate (Compassion Defined).

In other words, to change your mindset you must actually act it out. In the end, the phrase "actions speak louder than words" is true. However, actions do not just speak louder to those who witness the action, they also speak loudly to you. For example: everyone likes receiving gifts at Christmas and at birthdays. Everyone enjoys the feeling of mattering to someone else. I definitely fall into that category. I always loved presents and attention at birthdays and Christmas, but there was still some part of me that knew I was missing something (especially at Christmas).

One year when I was around ten I finally decided that I was going to participate in the gift giving on Christmas. I locked myself in my room and proceeded to make rainbow loom bracelets for each of my family members, I even wrapped them in tiny boxes that I had saved. On Christmas I handed them out and watched my parents and siblings open them. I know it was a small, trivial attempt at being a part of the gift-giving, but I loved the warm feeling of being able to bring joy and happiness to others.

That is what being compassionate is like. You feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that you have made a difference in another person's life. The key to fighting cynicism with compassion is actually taking the bold step to be compassionate towards another person, no matter how big or small the suffering of that person may be. On the individual scale compassion can mean the world to both the compassionate person but also the person that you chose to be compassionate towards. The Academy Award winning film Avatar (2009) featured compassion in a couple of smaller ways, but the main message between the culture of the blue aliens on Pandora was one phrase "I see you".

That is exactly the message a compassionate person communicates to others. "I recognize your suffering, and I wish to alleviate your pain." Whereas cynicism says, "You are an unsavable being that will continually do wrong. You deserve this situation as punishment for your past sins." Compassion inspires love and hope in others, for others. Cynicism festers resentment and anger towards the cynic.

So, sympathy, empathy, and compassion create a more gentle and loving person that desires to make a difference in the world. Apathy and cynicism manifest a cold and heartless individual who could care less about what is going on around them. In the individual picking one coin or another sets the tone for how you feel and what you choose to do to others both good and bad. This is where the split in relationships begin.

Relationships are interesting things because there are millions of different types of relationships. For example: I am a sister, daughter, cousin, niece, friend, employee, student, acquaintance, mentor and part of the world's population. You as the reader may be these things with others next to them. Everyone in the world fits into some of these types of relationships and roles. You might be a brother, father, mother, aunt, uncle or something else but the list goes on. You have these roles and positions which in turn are relationships.

When you have these relationships, you are given a choice about the relationship. You can be a good brother or sister, a good mom or dad, an amazing aunt or uncle, and an awesome friend or mentor. You can choose to put all that you are into these relationships, you can choose to be the person that others go to for help and guidance, and you can work your hardest to ensure that you push those you have relationships with towards success. Or you can choose to not care about those relationships. You can choose to push people away, be indifferent towards them or even work against them.

In a perfect world everyone would work towards the betterment of all those around them, but we do not live in a perfect world. In places where apathy and cynicism are the dominant worldviews of individuals, life is difficult, it is hard to find help, and more often than not people choose to ignore the struggles of others in favor of helping themselves. Those who live by the laws of compassion and empathy assist those who need help, focus on cultivating those important relationships, and live happier lives. More compassionate and empathetic populations means more understanding, more help, and more togetherness than the climates of indifference and suspicion. The root of social chaos and violence will always lie in the power of each individual person.

The ability to choose for oneself, which path to tread, which coin to grab is what makes mankind different from the rest of the world. We as humans have the ability to choose the way we view the world, and worldviews are not formed overnight. Childhood experiences and traumas, exposure to new thoughts and ideas, the influence of education and religion, those are the things that help shape your view of the world and where you see yourself in it. What has happened to you, what you have seen, those things may not be your fault. But you do have the ability to control how you respond and what you choose to think and believe after those things have occurred.

It is quite easy to look at the world and see all of the bad. It is easy to look at the world and say "it's not happening to me, so it's not my problem to care about". But no one ever said that life was going to be easy. Sometimes an individual has to look at the circumstance, no matter how bleak, and realize that only recognizing the bad helps no one, not even themselves. Sometimes a person has to make the conscious choice to say "no, this is not happening to me, but there is something I can do to help this person who is suffering." In the movie Avengers: Infinity War, the villain Thanos states that, "The hardest choices require the strongest wills." Even if that's coming from a villain, it holds true in even the most basic of circumstances.

Because believing that everyone is bad and deserves what they get is easy. Because not caring about others and ignoring their situations is the default setting that almost everyone falls back on, myself included. The easy way out might be the easiest way, but that does not always mean it is the right way out. Oftentimes the right way to handle a situation is the hard way out. The right way out may be getting in the middle of a fight and stopping others from getting hurt. The right way out might be speaking up for someone who is too timid to speak up for themselves. The right way out, could be something as simple as helping your sibling with their homework when you don't want to. The possibilities are endless and the potential for a change in worldview is ever present. And changing a worldview is not easy. Moving away from a specific way of looking at life is one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made.

If I could go back, even to the middle of sophomore year at the height of Covid lockdown, there are a lot of things that I would do differently. I would work harder in school to remember everything that I was being taught. I would strive to be more present for my sister, both in her school life and her home life. I would speak to my mother about things that did not just revolve around school and what we were reading on the news. I would work harder on caring about others and having a more positive outlook on life.

If I could go back to that day in the store looking for the right size of pants, I would emotionally engage and actually talk to my mother when she asked me what was wrong. If I could go back in time at all I would look back at the three summers that I've had since starting high school and I would strive to actually do something that would help my mental state instead of living in my room.

I know I'm not the only person in the world that has been living in a state of apathy and cynicism towards others. Every member of a society is an important piece to making sure that the society functions well as a whole, and I have not done much to help the society that I live in. We all have a choice. We can choose to be sympathetic, empathetic, and compassionate towards others. We can choose to be the person that others run to for comfort and stability. Or we can choose to think that what others get is what they deserve. We can choose to be indifferent to the situation and struggle of others. We can choose to live like Em's song describes, as numb little bugs.



Abramson, Ashley. "Cultivating empathy", American Psychological Association, Nov 1, 2021. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/11/feature-cultivating-empathy.

Augsburger, David. The Freedom of Forgiveness 70 x 7, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1970.

Beihold, Em. "Numb Little Bug." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fwJ8H5wWCU.

Bernstein, Jeffrey. "Why Your Partner Needs Your Empathy but not Your Sympathy", Psychology Today, October 8, 2014, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/liking the-child you-love/201410/why-your-partner-needs-your-empathy-not-your-sympathy-0.

Brooks, Arthur C. "Live Like the Ancient Cynics", The Atlantic, Jan 20, 2022. https://www.the atlantic.com/family/archive/2022/01/cynicism-modern-ancient-true-meaning/621314.

Claremont, Nicholas. "Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It.” Really?". Big Think, July 31, 2013. https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/those-who-do-not-learn- history-doomed-to-repeat-it-really/.

"Compassion Defined". Greater Good Magazine, 2023, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/ compassion/definition#what-is-compassion.

Denk, Fr. Michael. "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference", The Prodigal Father, Sep 29, 2013. https://www.theprodigalfather.org/the-opposite-of-love-is-not-hate-its indifference.

Dunn, Scott C. "The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy", Jan 26, 2019. https://scottcdunn. medium.com/the-opposite-of-love-is-not-hate-it-is-apathy-e349b8081bc4.

Ellwood, Beth. "Cynical people are less likely to respond with empathy and prosocial behavior after being socially excluded", PsyPost, Mar 30, 2022. https://www.psypost.org/2022/03/ cynical-people-are-less-likely-to-respond-with-empathy-and-prosocial-behavior-after-bei ng-socially-excluded-62815.

Emeghara, Udochi. "Bystander Effect and Diffusion of Responsibility," SimplyPsychology, Sept 24, 2020. https://www.simplypsychology.org/bystander-effect.html.

Hortensius, Ruud. Gelder, Beatrice de. "From Empathy to Apathy: The Bystander Effect Revisited", Curr Dir Psychol Sci. Aug 27, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC6099971. *

Joe, Jimmy. "Why Did Mesopotamia Fall: The Tragic Collapse of an Empire". Timeless Myth, https://www.timelessmyths.com/history/why-did-mesopotamia-fall/.

Jones, Kirtly Parker. "The Four Types of Love: Some Are Healthy, Some Are Not." Newswise, Feb 11, 2020. https://www.newswise.com/articles/the-four-types-of-love-some-are- healthy-some-are-not.

Levy, Morgan. Cummings, Jeffrey. Fairbanks, Lynn. Masterman, Donna. Miller, Bruce. Craig, Anne. Paulsen, Jane. Litvan, Irene. "Apathy Is Not Depression", Journal Of Neuropsychiatry, Volume 10, Issue 3, August 1998.

Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters, The Guardian, 1941.

May, Rollo. Love & Will. W. W. Norton & Company, 1969.

Online Etymology Dictionary "Apathy", https://www.etymonline.com/word/apathy.

Roach, Courtney. "Moral Courage – The link with Apathy and Cynicism and the Antidote", LinkedIn, Aug 18, 2021, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/moral-courage-link-apathy- cynicism-antidote-courtney-roach.

Sawchuk, Craig. "Understanding Depression: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments." Mayo Clinic, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7NPnvKFs2Y&t=25s.

Schairer, Sara. "What's the Difference Between Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion?" Chopra, Nov 23, 2019. https://chopra.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-empathy- sympathy-and-compassion.

Seltzer, Leon F. "The Curse of Apathy: Sources and Solutions", Psychology Today, Apr 27, 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201604/the-curse-apathy-sources-and-solutions.

Sharpe, John. "The Many Differences Between Empathy, Sympathy, and Apathy", West Coast Recovery Centers, Feb 26, 2022. https://westcoastrecoverycenters.com/the-many- differences-between-empathy-sympathy-and-apathy.

Soto-Rubio, Ana, Sinclair, Shane. "In Defense of Sympathy, in Consideration of Empathy, and in Praise of Compassion: A History of the Present", JPSM, Volume 55, Issue 5, Dec 21, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.12.478.

Spielvogel, Jackson. "Western Civilization". Thomas & Wadsworth, Sixth Edition, 2006.

The Bible. New American Standard Bible, Foundation Publications, 1997, INC.

"Understanding the Meaning of Compassion." Compassion.com, 2023, https//www.compassion. com /child-development/meaning-of-compassion/.

Wiesel, Elie – Acceptance Speech. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Mon. 13 Feb 2023.<https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1986/wiesel/acceptance-speech/>.

Whitener, Svetlana. "Empathy Vs. Indifference: How To Attract Opportunities And Connect With Others Authentically", Forbes, Mar 16, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/03/16/ empathy-vs-indifference-how-to-attract-opportunities-a nd-connect-with-others-authentically/?sh=75645ba6723d.