A friend told me today that one thing she hates about me is that I say "I don't care," when I really do.
She's right. I am falsely apathetic. I don't think we, as thinking beings, are capable of attaining perfect apathy, or even perfect apathy toward a particular idea, occurrence, or person.
Wikipedia (I've become wiki-reliant) defines apathy as "an absence of interest or concern to emotional, social, or physical life."
No matter how far detached mentally or emotionally we are, it's impossible to be physically detached from everything. Yes, this is the goal of some meditation, but the focus of the same meditation is to connect, rather than detach.
And yes, wikipedia uses the conjunction "or," implying that if detached from one, one is apathetic, but I think our emotional, social, and physical worlds are interrelated too much that if we are even distantly in touch with one, we are distantly in touch with the other two.
She's right. I do care about politics, what happens to my friends after high school, and everything else to which I've acted indifferent.
Apathy is a defense against hurt. By convincing myself to suppress emotion, I protect myself from emotion, and I can't help but do so.