We are suffering from one of the worst epidemics in recent human history. It has the potential to spread to every corner of the land and to infect every person. It leaves its victims lifeless, like wandering zombies.
It is the plague of indifference.
It strikes those who care. Those that are trying to make a difference, to bring benefit to others. It has a slow onset, germinating in those who time and time again go the extra mile. It reproduces and gains its strength as kindness and generosity are taken advantage of, exploited and disrespected.
The infection starts to display signs and symptoms as the victim gets worn out, angry at themselves for trying so hard and for caring so much. They may feel guilty for wanting to help others, for repeating this cycle again and again only to end up in states of loss.
The infection has reached its full measure when the victim no longer cares, when they just go through the motions and do what they are told.
One remedy for this infection is to show appreciation and respect to those who aren't infected. To rejoice in their efforts. This remedy can delay or offset the progression of the disease, but it is not necessarily a cure.
The only cure is to protect your own mind, and the only way to do that is to cultivate bodhicitta, the awakened mind. It is only by cultivating bodhicitta that you can bear the burden of unpleasant and painful circumstances. It is only by cultivating bodhicitta that you can abandon your own susceptibility to 'woe is me'.
One who cultivates bodhicitta is a bodhisattva, a courageous awakened warrior.
They don't fight others, they fight to establish them in peaceful, happy states.
They fight to bring them benefit.
They fight for those who care, and to help those who don't to regain their purpose.
It is a battle worth fighting for.
As it states in the Heart Sutra:
There is no attainment, and even no non-attainment. Therefore, Shariputra, since bodhisattvas have no attainments, they rely on this perfection of wisdom and abide in it. Having no obscurations in their minds, they have no fear, and by going utterly beyond error, they will reach the end of nirvana.