Form a mental image of people telling Jews in Nazi Germany, during the holocaust (1941-1945), to “forget about all your problems. Just pretend they don’t exist.”
Let’s go further and imagine handing them alcohol, pot and anti-depressants to assuage their suffering, while they line up for extreme work, under starvation conditions, followed by the gas chamber.
All these coping strategies (escapism)—ceasing to think or consider the negative environment at hand, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, taking anti-depressants—all these self-defense mechanisms (I prefer to call them self-harm mechanisms) never fix the underlying issues plaguing the group. The paranoia, the prejudice, the hate, the inequality, or in the hypothetical case above, the general anti-Jewish sentiment of Nazi Germany.
The opposite of escapism (escaping) is staying. Accepting reality in all its glory. When we accept reality, it leaves us in a state of general unhappiness (depressed), but it also makes us extremely powerful, with the ability to reassemble, focus and fight for change. Fight for progress. Fight for what is right. Fight for what is fair. Fight for all humans.