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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #17 --- Indifference (Apathy)

Updated on November 28, 2015

Quotations on Indifference (Apathy)

Enthusiasm is the electric current which keeps the engine of life going at top speed. Enthusiasm is the very propeller of progress. Mediocrity is the fruit of indifference. Indifference is the twin brother of laziness. And the Door of Success is too high up, too hard for the lazy to reach and open. Only the enthusiast can hope to forge the right key and find the right combination in its lock.

‑‑‑B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Jan. 5, 1918.

Complacent self-assurance is a dead giveaway for failure of self-criticism.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 11, 1955.

Putting up a good front is well in order when it means maintaining an attitude of indifference toward petty affronts.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 8, 1959.

It is not opposition without, but apathy within, that hinders.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minn., Feb. 25, 1899.

Policy sits on the fence while principle fights the battle.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The News and Herald, Winnsboro, S.C., April 8, 1899.

People on the fence never weigh much.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Phillipsburg Herald, Phillipsburg, Kan., Jan. 8, 1891.

There is no more positive way of being a failure than by being neither cold nor hot.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Richmond Planet, Richmond, Va., Nov. 28, 1908.

Ignorance is no excuse for indifference.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The Rising Son, Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 15, 1904.

Better to make mistakes through trying than to make no mistakes through indifference.

‑‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Jan. 20, 1932.

The worst kind of grief is that which is inflicted by our own indifference.

‑‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Jan. 22, 1932.

A mind that is crammed with trifles is usually indifferent to greatness.

‑‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 21, 1932.

Do not imagine your indifference is always the fine spirit of contentment.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 2, 1933.

All of us live too indifferent to our best selves.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 7, 1934.

Indifference never developed a dependable character.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 26, 1936.

The continual habit of complacency soon leaves life shallow.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 6, 1931.

Life demands effort. Apathy begets antipathy; stagnation is death.

---W.D. Bolton, St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 3, 1900.

Sometimes we think we are good when we are merely neutral.

—Wesley S. Izzard, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Feb. 26, 1953.

Indolence and indifference do more damage to humanity than all the crimes.

‑‑‑H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post‑Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Dec. 19, 1927.

No time is a convenient time for the lazy, the selfish and the indifferent.

---James DeForest Murch, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1, 1940.

Indifference is the doctrine of self‑preservation and breaks down on provocation or attack.

‑‑‑Davis Sessums, Lake Charles American‑Press, Lake Charles, La., Jan. 18, 1921.

Despair is often born of fear, laziness or indifference.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Amsterdam, N.Y., Sept. 12, 1931.

It is the sterility of indifference that disgusts us.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Sept. 13, 1906.

A heap of the world’s bad luck is no more than a conjure makeshift for indifference or inability.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Oct. 18, 1907.

The hardest thing in this world to go up against is indifference.

‑‑‑J. Benjamin Lawrence, Southern Baptist Home Missions, Atlanta, Ga., January 1937.

Indifference is far more difficult to overcome than open opposition.

‑‑‑G. Avery Lee, Baptist Message, Alexandria, La., Jan. 28, 1960.

A man on the fence is apt to jump to conclusions.

-‑‑Benjamin Arstein, San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 7, 1911.

The faith that shows up strong on the fence may fail altogether when it gets on the field.

---Henry F. Cope, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 6, 1907.

The man who sits on the fence is fond of taking the high ground on all questions.

‑‑‑Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 13, 1908.

A sincere man can get down on the wrong side of the fence, but he cannot straddle it.

---Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 29, 1909.

Indifference is the stockade, and willfulness the lock, by which every talent, great or small, is restrained from service.

‑‑‑James L. Baggott, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 4, 1934.

People with good ideas and high ideals have no right to complain if they do nothing to improve human values in their own sphere of influence.

---John Catoir, The Church Today, Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 1993.

A man who never expresses an opinion on either side of a question may be a good man, but what is he good for?

—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Feb. 20, 1896.

The man who undertakes to straddle the fence is liable to be caught on a sharp picket.

—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, May 6, 1897.

A lot of things we commonly refer to as infirmities could better be classified as indifferences.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 29, 1937.

Most folks pride themselves on being different—a few honest people admit they enjoy, most of all, being indifferent.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Aug. 14, 1945.

When a man becomes indifferent, he might as well be pronounced a doomed man.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 6, 1922.

Indifference produces jungle fever in the soul.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 23, 1924.

Indifference is the road to doom.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 6, 1925.

Indifference is more dangerous than opposition.

---Lee M. Erdman, Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., July 10, 1922.

Halfhearted commitments soon drift into doubt and indifference.

---Howard V. Harper, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., March 1, 1937.

The man who is indifferent is the man who is not awake to his opportunities.

-‑‑Duncan M. Smith, Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Ill., June 20, 1908.

Procrastination, languidness and indifference are milestones on the way to destruction.

---Billy Sunday, Beaver Falls Tribune, Beaver Falls, Pa., June 24, 1912.

Indifference leads to arrogance.

‑‑‑Joe Trull, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 10, 1979.

Violence and apathy are the twin scourges of our country, and the man we must really keep a close eye on is the one who is violently apathetic.

—Bill Vaughan, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., July 24, 1968.

Some are born free and equal and others inherit indifference.

—Jack Warwick, Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, March 17, 1941.

The middle of the road is an advantageous position until duty demands that you cross it and take your stand on one side of the other. Human progress is heavily indebted to [those who] take up a righteous cause and appreciably retarded by those who advocate the wrong.

---S. Parkes Cadman, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 12, 1933.

There is nothing in this world more detestable than ingratitude, no sin greater; yet, when we are surrounded by so many good things, we are prone to grow indifferent, and cease to give thanks for them.

‑‑‑J.B. Williams, Lake Charles American‑Press, Lake Charles, La., Nov. 28, 1924.

Those who are indifferent are the persons who do not care. They are the ones of no concern. They show no compassion. They have no opinion at all. To them there is no real cause to fight for. They have no feeling. They are stuck in the traditional ways and cannot be moved one way or another. These are the persons who have no convictions of their own. They are ready tools for dictators, totalitarian movements, and perhaps movements characterized by hysteria, but they have no ideals, no goals in life; therefore, they sit in idleness and do as little as possible.

‑‑‑Harold L. Hawkins, Baptist HospitaI Echo, Alexandria, La., January 1962.

Apathy divides communities into isolated individuals. Neighbors cease to be friends. Acquaintances cease to associate. Respect for others is lost. Soon, relationships die. This creates a void between individuals that will be filled by fear and greed. To speak the truth becomes a lost art.

-‑‑Curtis L. Beaird, Jr., Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 8, 1986.

If you are indifferent to beauty, to the rendering of useful service, there may come a time all too soon when the desire and appetite for this form of life may have passed away. Then the cold slumber of the heart passes as the night--with the dawn. Indifference is the finished form of neglect. I believe in acting upon impulses when those impulses breathe health and hope. We make mistakes enough when there are no impulses around, so that a few impulses gone wrong won't count as much in loss after all. A good impulse should never be allowed to go to sleep or to die. How many times the opportunity to make someone else happy is nipped in the bud by this statement: "Oh, I meant to tell you how much I appreciated your thoughtfulness, but I just didn't do it."

---George Matthew Adams, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., April 6, 1927.

Many people are absolutely indifferent to everything that goes on. Those who do not take part are dissatisfied with what the others do and consequently are always grumbling. If you do not like what your organization does, get to work and see that it does differently. That is your privilege and you should either submit good-naturedly to what is done or get up and express your opinion. Too many of us sit leisurely by, grumbling to ourselves or [others]. You can depend upon it that those who are always finding fault never do anything. Take part in everything of an educational nature that comes along and you will find life much more pleasant and much more beneficial than you do not. Do not go listlessly along taking the world just as it comes, making no effort to enjoy it or have it come your way. Who does not admire the energetic, enthusiastic person who has a will and is not afraid to express it, providing he uses good common sense?

---Rosella Ferrin, The Acorn, Ogden, Utah, December 1907.

If you live carelessly, you may be buried indifferently.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Jan. 6, 1941.

Indifference is the frost that blights the fruit of effort.

-‑‑Clarksville Leaf‑Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., Feb. 9, 1926.

Indifference is not far removed from recklessness.

‑‑‑Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 29, 1905.

Indifference is the cruelest of all critics.

‑‑‑Florida Times‑Union, Jacksonville, Fla., July 3, 1939.

Indifference is the manifestation of an incurable selfishness.

‑‑‑Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, May 9, 1899.

Incompetence usually springs from indifference.

‑‑‑Preston Citizen, Preston, Idaho, Dec. 19, 1946.

One man takes his work as a stone around his neck and sinks to apathy. Another takes it as a stepping stone and mounts to success.

‑‑‑Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 14, 1905.

A late start indicates indifferent interest in how far one gets.

---Utah Farmer, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 10, 1938.

Be a self-starter. Overcome lethargy. Lethargy means "the quality or state of being lazy or indifferent." One of the best ways to overcome lethargy is to discipline ourselves and to push ourselves forward to our goal. This is one of the hardest things we have to do.

—R. Crawford Davis, Westate, Denver, Colo., September 1964.

We must not be indifferent indifference that retards our progress. It is indifference that causes us to waste our most precious time. It causes us to sleep longer than necessary and makes us satisfied with mediocrity. It provides false justification when we reflect upon our poor accomplishments of a past week, while at the same time prompting us to "wait until tomorrow" before we work on and improve vital character traits. As a result of indifference we fail to receive and enjoy all that life offers to us.

—L. Thomas Fife, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, September-October 1964.

Our casual indifference and our unwillingness to render a decision is rarely an expression of an option. By not speaking up, we tend to condone that which we do not approve. Intelligent persons are expected to form opinions and act on them. Only the coward washes his hands of any affair which involves the fate of mankind.

—Charles L. Allen, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., April 16, 1958.

Apathy is the first warning paralysis that precedes loss of liberty.

—Lynn W. Landrum, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, July 14, 1952.

A spirit of indifference, a lazy tendency to take the attitude that no great harm can come from anything that people are apt to do is responsible for many conditions dangerous to both the health and the moral well being of both old and young. Drifting and indirection is not conducive to arrival at any port. Neither characters nor fortunes are consistently built by chance. Children can neither learn well nor develop if their elders do not teach and guide them into habits and thought patterns that are wholesome.

—Vernald William Johns, Garland Times, Garland, Utah, July 30, 1937.

Indifference is an assurance of insolvency.

—J. Emmett Wainwright, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., March 28, 1927.

Indifference is a shameful disease, impairing the vision of many.

-‑‑J. Emmett Wainwright, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., May 3, 1927.

This is no time for indulging the spirit of indifferent optimism.

—John G. Anderson, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Jan. 12, 1920.

Neglect or indifference ruins even the best plans and intentions if permitted to run unchecked.

—Albert R. Bond, Baptist Education Bulletin, Birmingham, Ala., March 1922.

The road of indifference–to be wholly unconcerned about the ultimate issues of life. Really, I cannot conceive such an attitude on the part of intelligent men and women. To be indifferent is to shut one's eyes to the history of the world. It means to retire intellectually. Man's very indifference is a decision. It is a decision against all positive values. Things are to be done. The mind cannot be static. The idea of ultimate values is operative in the very essence of life. You may cajole yourself into thinking that you are indifferent, but your every act belies such a contemplation. Your whole experience to date has been a refutation of indifference.

—Adam S. Bennion, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 2, 1928.

Enthusiasm is the electric current which keeps the engine of life going at top speed. Enthusiasm is the very propeller of progress. Mediocrity is the fruit of indifference. Indifference is the twin brother of laziness. And the Door of Success is too high up, too hard for the lazy to reach and open. Only the enthusiast can hope to forge the right key and find the right combination in its lock.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Jan. 5, 1918.

Many young Americans are indifferent to the fact that they have been born in the best country in the world, where honest effort counts for so much. They throw away their golden hours, trusting to that false guide called luck.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Jan. 19, 1925.

The benumbing influence of indifferentism prevents any effective service.

—J.B. Gambrell, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 1, 1912.

Plans for the future must be measured by the positive interest. They will be fruitless if made on foundations of indifference. The opposite of indifference is interest. We show our interest by our resolutions and our fidelity to them.

—J.C. Hockett, Jr., The Sunday School Builder, Nashville, Tenn., September 1960.

It's not the difference between people that's the difficulty. It's the indifference.

—Lee R. Call, Star Valley Independent, Afton, Wyo., July 9, 1970.

I prefer the dangers of enthusiasm for life to the indifference of those who have fallen in a rut.

—Joe Ted Miller, Abbeville Meridional, Abbeville, La., July 30, 1970.

Indifference is the habit of appearing to be unconcerned about who people are and what they are doing. People who practice this manner of life seem to think it a sign of smartness to be indifferent. They are not concerned about anything you have to say. ... Take time to be concerned about people and what they are doing. They will remember you, and you will be rewarded. You can learn something from the commonest individual you ever meet if you so desire.

—Charles M. Hughes, Leesville Leader, Leesville, La., Oct. 6, 1949.

Conviction fades amid complacency. A conspiracy develops to console ourselves.

—John J. Hurt, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 6, 1967.

Indolence and indifference do more damage to humanity than all the crimes.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Dec. 19, 1927.

Despair over difficulty becomes an umbrella producing indifference.

—James H. Landes, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, May 15, 1974.

Anything is better than the Dead Sea of neutral nothingness.

—Elbert Hubbard, quoted in Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 7, 1905.

Unjarred complacency sets no milestones along the progress road.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., Feb. 15, 1927.

Indifference wounds more deeply than attack.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., March 26, 1927.

Indifferentism is the prolific parent of all crime, the most dangerous and subtle foe to the growth of human love and brotherhood. Not only this, but it is even a foe to enlightened self-interest. The indifferentist is not only criminal, he is also supremely foolish. Human life is so closely interwoven that indifference to our neighbor’s welfare becomes in effect indifference to our own.

—Adelbert Lathrop Hudson, Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 14, 1896.

Most of us pride ourselves on being willing to hear both sides of question. To be tolerant, or to appear to be, is popular nowadays. Much that is called tolerance, however, is only indifference. If you don't care enough about a question to have an opinion you deserve little credit for appearing to be tolerant. Let's hear both sides always--but if the problem is important let's not be too lazy to have an opinion. And then let's have the courage to express it.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 27, 1930.

The indifferent man will never profit by an opportunity. The indifferent man usually blames everything else but his own indifference. The indifferent man is the sand in the bearings of progress.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 3, 1930.


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