An Inquiry into Cynicism
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

An Inquiry into Cynicism

In which I wax philosophical... again.

596
An Inquiry into Cynicism
pexels.com

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.

4006

I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.

90

As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less

September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments