The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. ~ Elie Wiesel
America is deeply embroiled in a terrible war, but I’m not referring to the war on terrorism. There is a much more insidious, subtler battle in which we are engaged, and I call it the war against apathy.
Make no mistake – the biggest challenge our nation faces is that of not caring. This apathy is at the root of many of our problems. When I blew the whistle on global banking juggernaut HSBC for its poor anti-money laundering practices (which lead to financing terrorists), I fully expected that it would be brought to justice, and not only as an institution. I believed that individuals within the institution would be criminally prosecuted for their roles in facilitating the financing of terrorism. That didn’t happen. As an institution, HSBC has paid some of the largest fines in history, yet those astronomical fines are just a drop in the bucket of its steady stream of profits. No one has served any time for these egregious violations of banking laws and regulations. We live in an era where “too big to fail” also means “too big to jail.”
After blowing the whistle on HSBC, I lost everything. I had to wait tables at P.F. Chang’s, just to make ends meet. I could easily have stopped caring – after all, where was the justice Still, I was determined to jump back into the fray of the war against apathy as quickly as possible. I did that by starting my own private intelligence company called Tactical Rabbit, and it’s just one of the many ways that I am personally the war against apathy. I think of Tactical Rabbit as being like the old black-and-white Superman television show that announced (in the opening credits), “…fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!” Why Because I believe that everything good about America is worth fighting for. Don’t you I believe in capitalism, but there are too many money zombies walking the earth. This is my problem with Donald Trump. The focus needs to be on using money for good rather than just to accumulate material possessions. My business school professors wrongly preached, “You must maximize shareholder wealth.” I have learned through years of suffering, risk taking, and hard work that the focus must be THE MAXIMIZATION OF THE HUMAN CONDITION – CARING.
When we turn our backs on the American ideals of integrity, freedom, honor, loyalty, justice, and truth, we embrace apathy. In one of my favorite movies of all time, called The NeverEnding Story, a sinister force is taking over the entire universe. It kills people’s hopes and dreams and destroys their imaginations. In the movie this is called THE NOTHING. It is the embodiment of people’s apathy and cynicism. The battle we must wage in order to fulfill American ideals is a battle against THE NOTHING – against apathy, cynicism, and not caring. I believe that the war against apathy is the most serious battle we face. If we lose the war against apathy, we will lose all of the other wars we face. What hangs in the balance is everything we hold dear as Americans.
Won’t you join me in the fight against the most dangerous enemy we’ve ever faced Together, we can defeat THE NOTHING and win the war against apathy.
Everett A. Stern