What is it that makes cynicism seem like common sense?
How come cynicism is the attitude that seems most socially proscribed and enforced?
Why is it socially safer to sneer rather than enthuse?
Think about it- that place of cynical distance we hide behind- or is it just me? Despite myself, with a random assortment of passions and creativities, life teaches me still that the best defence against failure, against exposure, against being beached on some shoal of stupidity, is cynicism.
But nothing ever was made or created or celebrated by cynicism. Cynicism can only destroy, undermine, denude.
To achieve something new, to change the world for the better- this always requires hope. Even those of us who struggle to reach the high watermark of optimism (lets us not get carried away after all.)
Hope carries risk. Cynicism condemns us to slow decline into the mundanity of the just-enough, or even worse, the passivity of mass inertia.
So why is it that as I re-read this I still feel…. cynical?
Are you cynical in general, or cynical about something in particular?
I vary a lot. I suppose I am cynical instinctively when faced with certain kinds of things… But I am working on it! how about you?
What’s the difference between a cynic and a sceptic/skeptic?
I reckon ‘skeptic’ suggests a reasoned position based on evidence- in relation to one proposition. Whereas a cynic has taken a position before the event.
Perhaps it is a spectrum that we oscillate on. Perhaps sometimes you’re sceptical based on the evidence of your life experience. What evidence is stronger than that?
Life experience is not always good evidence is it though? It is very subjective and laced with all sorts of observer bias. It is entirely understandably that a woman who has been abused with think that all men are bastards- but you would hope that as part of her healing she meets one who is not.
However I think my piece was more about a kind of instinctive casual dismissal of the possibility of something new, something better…
Some nice people once told me that I was not a cynic but a sceptic.
Life experience may be subjective but at least it’s real for you. I experience therefore I am…?!?