Optimistic Cynicism
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Politics and Activism

Optimistic Cynicism

No reason to complain.

Optimistic Cynicism
Bill Watterson

I’m full of contradictions. Like, an absurd amount. I’m one way one moment and the polar opposite the next. And my various mood disorders are only partially to blame for that. I feel like it’s a manifestation of the nature/nurture dilemma, in the sense that I’m naturally a pretty idealistic, naïve idiot, and that I’ve been shaped to be a cynical, grumpy idiot.

I can love all of humanity in the morning and be completely appalled by it at noon. I have unrealistic expectations for people, and since they never deliver on the impossible, I get cranky. People are supposed to be helpful and loving and friendly, damn it. And they’re just not. They’re angry and manipulative and arrogant and they kind of smell.

So I suppose my cynicism (which I’m the first to admit is stupid) stems from my incredibly high standards for people and how they operate. I expect the idealized Mother Teresa and get the actual Mother Teresa. Who, you know, most likely stopped believing in the faith in old age and only pretended to be faithful to empower others.

Isn’t the worst thing she could’ve done. But yet I expect her to be a saint. Something which is humanly impossible. But she could upset and angry and probably yelled at people. She wasn’t perfect, and yet I need her to be. Like I need humans to stop being complete dicks to each other.

Says me, arguably one of the biggest dicks I know.

I suppose all of what I’m saying presents a fundamental misunderstanding of how people work. I do admittedly lack comprehension of human behavior from others as well as myself, despite my near constant analysis of both. People are flawed, broken things, but they’re not exactly worth giving up on. They cure a disease, they bomb a city. They rescue a dog from a drain, they kill unarmed civilians.

We may never get better, but at least we can’t get worse.

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