So far I’ve talked about how the behaviour of others, especially those who’ve hurt us, can cause us to become cynical. And how we use cynicism as a defence mechanism – to prevent ourselves from further hurt
I read somewhere that cynicism functions as a defense mechanism with regard to issues about institutions, like a church, or government or social injustice, etc.
1. When people feel powerless to affect change, or
2. To help people make sense of puzzling events in their environment.
Our newspapers, magazines, and television bring us reports of all manner of corruption within political, religious and charitable institutions. We wonder how much of our money is lining the pockets of the people who govern our countries? We are affected by all the scandals in our religious institutions – pedophile priests and immoral swamis. We hear how money raised for the famine ridden people of Africa was used to finance guerrillas……..even sport and games are not left uncorrupted. We are constantly reading or hearing of war, murder, suicide, sheer desperation….and wonder what the world is coming to. No wonder, we’re tempted to be cynical. Therefore, I ask: : Should I give up all attempts to make a difference?
Even as I’ve been working on these posts and thinking over whether to be or not to be cynical, I’ve asked myself a lot of questions. And the answer to these questions has been a resounding ‘NO’……
No, I will not to be defined by the behavior of others.
No, I will not become defensive, cold and unfeeling.
No, I do not want to protect myself from getting hurt at the cost of hurting those I love.
No, I will not stop trying to do the best I can to make the world around me a better place.
I’m not naive or foolish, I’m rather practical, but I realize that if I want to be “Me’, then I cannot be cynical. I am aware that being ‘uncynical’ is not easy, but I realize that I’m not alone in this. I know a lot of friends who are so positive in the most trying of personal circumstances…. many others, who are trying with all their might to make a positive difference in the world……so what’s my excuse?
If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. ~ Ray Bradbury
Like the important things in life we all have a choice – and I choose not to be cynical. I chose to jump of those cliffs time and again – and be me! What about you?
May you be inspired – everyday!