In the United States of America, apathy could be one of the biggest downfalls of our country.
Unfortunately, as Americans, as long as something does not reach out and touch us square in the middle of our foreheads, we don't care. If it does not have a personal impact, Americans tend to go about their personal lives with little thought about how the person next to them is doing. As long as our lives are okay - life is good. As Americans, we have lost the ability to look out and/or care, for one another.
Americans listen to the news and remark "Oh that is terrible news to hear". Sometimes they listen to the news and say "What a shame", "How sad". And then one day a story appears on the news - and that story is about their life. It is about a horrible tragedy that happened to someone that they love.
As someone involved in such a news story - let me explain the emotions that you go through.
You are already in a state of shock over the incident that occurred. Then you are sitting in front of your TV and you are hearing "your life" broadcast all over the city in which you live. You see it in print in the newspaper. You see it on the internet. And you see people jumping in a making their comments and passing their judgements.
It is worth mentioning that frequently the information broadcast in the media is totally inaccurate.
For instance - "As for the suspect, sources close to the investigation say he has a substantial criminal history." (Channel 8 News, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 19, 2003 - 3:10 PDT)
People that you know, your neighbors, people that you work with or did work with - they all are hearing this. As if the situation weren't bad enough to begin with - now your image is beyond tarnished.
Unfortunately, once that broadcast is done, not every person who heard it will hear any additional "corrections" that may be forthcoming.
In Pat's case, a retraction was never done by Channel 8 in Las Vegas. And that statement was totally false.
There were many other inaccuracies broadcast by the media. None of them ever corrected.
But - people don't care. They hear a story, and they take that story and embellish it with their own "knowledge" and what they think. Soon the whole situation does not even have a close resemblance to what happened, and the actual facts leading up to what happened are lost in the gossip, and the damage is done.
As Americans, not only are we guilty of apathy, we are guilty of passing judgement before we actually know what happened.
There are people's lives that are being destroyed with misinformation that is being broadcast, and nobody cares - until it is their own life.
Joseph Patrick Lamoureux's life began a downward spiral after he returned from Iraq. He did the right thing and sought treatment. He knew he had a problem. He wanted to get better and get his life back. Unfortunately, the VA failed him, and at a time when intervention could have occurred, he was told to go home and take his medication.
Apathy - the VA providers don't even care. Their schedules are overburdened. Just write a prescription and send the patient out the door. Don't take the time to treat the patient, after all - there is another patient waiting in the lobby.