Elie Wiesel believes indifference is the most dangerous emotion since it does not provoke any actions. Anger and hatred can force people to change a situation they do not like. Indifference leads to stagnation of society and isolation of people from each other.
Elie Wiesel speculates on whether indifference should be considered a virtue in the modern world. In his speech, Elie Wiesel calls indifference an unnatural and strange condition for a person. Nevertheless, he notes that such a state is also convenient and attractive for many people.
It is much easier to show indifference since it does not cause difficulties and problems. Wiesel argues that an indifferent person reduces the suffering of others to abstraction. He claims that such a feeling isolates a person from their environment, turning them into a living corpse. People stop paying attention to pain and suffering, surrendering to circumstances. They do not wait for help and do not hope for salvation, which makes their life pointless.
Wiesel argues that not only society can be indifferent to other people, but also God. An indifferent God is worse than a punishing one since a person is not afraid of his anger. Similarly, indifference makes people inhuman, depriving them of their natural essence. Even anger and hatred can be constructive, as they push a person to action. Disagreement with global injustice and cruelty forces people to oppose it.
Indifference is devastating for the victim, as he or she feels forgotten. It is preferable for the aggressor, as it brings even more harm. Wiesel concludes that indifference is not a sin but a punishment. It deprives both the victim and the observer of the meaning of life.
Wiesel is optimistic about the current world situation, as he hopes people have learned from the past. He asks about the reasons for the indifference to the genocide of the Jews during the Second World War. He also criticizes America’s cooperation with Nazi Germany in the early years of the war. The many modern missions aimed at rescuing the suffering in different parts of the planet give him hope.
Wiesel believes that indifference is the cause of many tragic events in the past. Today he sees people returning to their humanity as they care for the victims and seek to reduce their number. In his opinion, indifference is the most destructive and dangerous feeling. It allows people not to pay attention to the world around them. People are isolated from society, devaluing the difficulties and suffering of others. They make themselves invisible, deprive their lives of meaning.
Responding to injustice is the engine of change, allowing humanity to progress. Indifferent people cannot create or improve anything because they do not feel the need for it. Indifference to others leads, first of all, to indifference to oneself, to one’s own destiny. Wiesel believes that only compassion and a desire to help can lead people into the future. Indifference isolates people, depriving them of community and the opportunity for action and change.