An Inquiry into Cynicism

An Inquiry into Cynicism

In which I wax philosophical... again.

In past weeks I have noticed a particularly strident trait taking over and influencing many of my actions. The trait in question being Cynicism. Whether it be in my musical tastes, my political views, or my view of other humans in general, cynicism characterizes most of my viewpoints. How did I develop from the innocent child young child who never questioned what was told him, to the cynical young adult whose instincts are to immediately question and if possible disprove all that is told him? Well, I can answer that one pretty easily. I never was a very innocent child -due in no small part to the harsh reality of growing up with several nefarious tricksters for older siblings. (Ok, maybe they weren't that bad..) When I grew older, that distrust of things like free candy from a siblings hand simply expanded to include things like free benefits from a politicians hand.

In many cases this cynicism has served me well over the years, and continues to do so. However, I worry that perhaps some of my own more admirable traits have been stifled by this attitude. For example, I oftentimes am perhaps less generous than I should be, because my natural inclination is to be suspicious about those who seek "handouts". I like to think that I can differentiate between those who are genuinely in need and those who simply are lazy. Yet, what if one is wrong in such a case? Tis troubling to think about.

Another example of my cynicism can be readily found in my writings and general discourse on such topics as art and entertainment. I despise the majority of music made after the year 1990. I fail to see the novelty of artwork hanging in our museums that seems more like an exercise in boredom than a genuine piece of art (heck I could splatter paint with the best of them if I felt so inclined). In addition, my tolerance for poems that don't follow at least a semblance of traditional poetry formats is practically non-existent. These are but a few of my over opinionated peeves. Thus, my writing and everyday speech is liberally sprinkled with instances in which I decry the perceived stupidity of others, along with their collective works. In following this course, I may indeed be right about the low quality of some unmentioned pieces of artistic expression. However, to say that I am right on everything I lambaste would be the height of arrogance upon my part. Indeed, I am without doubt often wrong on such topics. Yet I persist in such condemnations anyway. In doing so I no doubt often offend others (whether intentionally or not) and by doing so hurt my witness for Christ. In the bible we are told to "Love your neighbor as yourself". Fortunately for humanity, (or perhaps unfortunately, you can decide) it does not say to only love your neighbor if you perceive them, their art, and their life choices as being intelligent. On the other hand, we are told "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [his] brother's way." So perhaps I ought to work on reigning in this level of cynicism in order to more truly hold to Christ's teachings.

This trap of cynicism is particularly easy for those of us who perceive ourselves as being intellectuals to fall into. We think we have most everything figured out (or at least we have everything figured out in regards to other people's business) and thus it is easy to look down on those we see as not being on the same pay-grade as us intellectually. Gosh, talk about arrogance. This can often be shown in other ways as well, whether that be in our moral standards, our physical capabilities, or one of a myriad of other situations. I would encourage you to join me in a little self examination on this topic. The world practically needs a little bit of cynicism to keep it running, but if we can keep our own toxicity in this area in check, than perhaps we might find ourselves able to appreciate the world a little better.

Conversely I would urge you to keep a little of that cynicism handy. 'Cause you may not need to slather it on life quite as thickly as you no doubt do now, but a little bit of cynicism is rather good for ones own health sometimes. Trust me. It is better to be suspicious of the soup than to choke on it. Since at this point I have far exceeded my word limit, (pshaw, who needs a word limit?) I will now take my leave. Go be less cynical. Or more. Depending on the circumstances.

And to those of you who made it this far, the duck picture is purely clickbait. I mean, he looks kinda like a cynical duck. perhaps. maybe. yup. It is a cynical duck. Actually it is a weird kind of goose, but ducks are funnier, so we will pretend it is really a duck.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out:

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

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20 Things I'd Do If The Concept Of Time Was Abolished

If only our lives weren't limited by time.


Recently, news outlets have been reporting on how the people of Sommarøy, a Norwegian island located north of the arctic circle, would like to remove the concept of time. This is largely in part due to the fact that the sun does not set during much of the summer nor does it rise during the winter. The inhabitants of Sommarøy do not have rigidly separated days and nights like the rest of the world and can be found doing normal daytime activities at 2 am in the summers.

They also would like to take clocks out of their society. Although this lifestyle might seem impractical to the rest of us, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world where time is irrelevant, in regards to the concept AND the physical effects of its passing. This newfound information gave rise to ideas of things (some simple, some whimsical) I'd do if the concept of time did not exist and we had as much time to do the things we wanted.

1. Live on a ship at sea.

2. Watch a flower grow from a seed to its death.

3. Apply as much makeup as desired without being late.

4. Retake my favorite college courses and participate as fully as I possibly can, including the completion of every single reading and film.

5. Take a non-stop trip through every country in the world.

6. Learn to play and fully master every single musical instrument in existence.

7. Watch a full rotation of Earth around the sun from space.

8. Live by myself in a cabin at the edge of the woods a la Thoreau.

9. Reread every single book that shaped my childhood.

10. Have a brief conversation with every old friend.

11. Re-drink that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee.

12. Observe how the tides change with the lunar cycle.

13. Learn as many languages as possible.

14. Sit at the beach and listen to music for days.

15. Train for an Olympic event.

16. Write a detailed, thorough analysis of every track in my favorite movie soundtracks.

17. Take a photo of every interesting place I visit and every little nook I find peace in and make a physical photo album.

18. Cook food without burning it.

19. Watch a star's life cycle from birth to death.

20. Replay the feeling of coming home.


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