The Insidious Creep of Apathy
DENALI, ALASKA- I came to work in Alaska because I wanted to visit Alaska, and it is prohibitively expensive for me to do so on my own free time & dime. Most of my travel destinations on this extended voyage of mine have been chosen precisely for this reason: they would be more difficult to visit in the course of “normal life”, so I’ll take the time to see them while I can. I came to live as close to a pristine natural setting as I could, and appreciate the role that the National Parks system has in our country.
I’m probably more prone than most to be caught up in the novelty of a new environment, so it comes as a distinct shock to me to find people who have been coming back to Denali to work for multiple seasons and spend little to no time indulging in…anything there is to do around here. Not going for a single hike, not having any interest in going on a rafting trip, a scenic flight tour, or camping--at all. Surprisingly, there are more people here with such an attitude than you would ever believe. They are largely uninterested in doing anything that is unique to Alaska, preferring instead to while away their time playing games, drinking, and puttering around.
I’m certainly not one to start judging people for their individual life decisions. I’ve long been a proponent of the ethos that everyone needs to do what is right for them, and when it comes down to it that means something different to each individual, so I take it as a lesson in apathy: when you find yourself numb to new experience, it’s time to make a change and do something different. Perhaps that means it’s time for you to move, or to switch jobs, or to find a new seasonal working destination. Or perhaps that change is an internal one—it’s time for you to alter your mindset, and become aware of what is actually around you.
Whatever way you choose to see it, the insidious creeping of apathy is one of the worst afflictions that can strike motivated, passionate people. If you are going to live somewhere fun and exciting—care about it. And if you don’t care, then perhaps it’s time to change your life in a way so that you are caring—otherwise you will find yourself running from something that you do care about, afraid to turn around and seize it.