Rudinsky’s Rambles: Fight to Care

Claire Rudinsky, Features Editor

Apathy is the armor we’ve built around ourselves these past few years. With almost a million Americans dead from COVID, caring about other people has become too costly. For two years we’ve been asked to act in the best interests of the public good, to do our individual job in helping our world move past this crisis; however, with 43 percent of Americans still unvaccinated, the public support for mask mandates steadily declines. People are emotionally tired.

The constant stream of news (ironic I know, as I write in a newspaper) barrages our eyes and ears with the latest atrocities: mass shootings, inevitable environmental issues, systemic racial injustice, humanitarian crises, and the list goes on. Each news cycle we learn more, and for the first few times, we care deeply. We open our pockets, we hold those tough conversations, we educate ourselves on the topic. And then the clock ticks on, and there is a fire somewhere else in the world that demands the attention of the camera. Our hearts cannot handle the hurt of the whole world, and slowly we slip into an expectation of misery and despair. Instead of shock and horror being the first emotions towards the latest disaster, we look on with a detached interest, if any at all. 

The problems brought to attention in the past few years are not new, nor are they easily solved, and when confronted by them, it’s easy to feel demoralized and alone, to question the point of trying to change anything for the better, when there’s always going to be another crisis to take its place. 

I don’t have the perfect answer. I see the same apathy in myself that I do the large majority of my classmates. But recently I had an experience that for a moment, even if temporarily, reminded me of the potential of life. 

It started, as a great many things do, with an impulsive decision. Enraged with the useless nature of my college portals, I was taking a walk through the halls in an attempt to regain a semblance of peace. Offhandedly I mentioned to my friend that I was considering punching a wall just to get the negative energy out. She suggested boxing. A few Internet searches later, we were signed up for a fundamentals boxing class the very next day, immediately after school. 

When we showed up, the man at the front desk seemed a bit confused by our purpose. Were we looking for a new gym? Nope! Have we ever done boxing before? Nope! 

Eventually he gave up on understanding us (a wise decision), and armed with pink and purple boxing wraps, we joined the group of mildly more prepared fighters. I won’t bore you with a play by play, but for one hour, I forgot about everything else in my life and in the world and just focused on making the punching bag sway. 

So there’s my answer: simply fight away the apathy. Just kidding. Although I would highly recommend boxing for a good workout and some catharsis, I think what really mattered was that I broke my routine.