Are You A Cynic?

Cynicism, it’s like a highly contagious disease. What makes this disease hard to treat? The most notable symptoms; an overall feeling of denial that one has the disease, combined with a sense of self righteousness, topped with hypocrisy. This population of ancient Greek philosophers cynics has gained more ground in the age of social media, a time when every person became a critic, and for better or worse, almost every person and happening, fair ground for criticism. It’s as though we’ve become a land of pots, running around, pointing fingers, and writing articles about every kettle we come across. I fear for the hypothetical return of Jesus. Have you considered how he will be met?

I think our cynicism is rooted in past pain, in the fact that wrong has been done to us, people have tried to take advantage, people have been greedy, people have had less than decent motives. And so now, any human being attempting to rise, filled with ambition and drive, will be met with cynicism. What’s most alarming is that the same cynicism is applied less to those already established, as if to say, “Well, yeah, but that’s a given. Sure I make this man who has cheated and stolen from people, billions of dollars by spending hours a day on his website, but, that’s life.” But, a group of musicians get together and want to have control of how their music is released and sold? No, no, no. You’re already rich! You’re greedy, and my feelings are hurt that you want to get paid what you deserve for your work, because I’m not getting paid what I feel I deserve for my work. Meanwhile corporations contributing to poisoning your drinking water are finding more ways to make money and pay less, and no one bats an eye.

One of the most important ideas from The Four Agreements; “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are truth.” It seems cynicism is rooted in assumptions; we assume the motives of others, we assume we know how things came to be, we assume we know better. But, do we? Do we really know?… Anything? The internet has allowed us to cherry pick articles that cater to our personal cynicism. Everyday, a lawyer somewhere is making an argument that their client is not guilty, when they are indeed guilty. And many of these arguments will be met with success. So, I’m sure anyone can come up with a compelling argument against anything, that is not in the least bit surprising. The question is, what for? Are you unhappy in your life and the idea of winning an argument is so rewarding that you make it your internet mission? Who are you helping exactly? Are you holding yourself to the same standard as the people you aim to rip to shreds? Who is benefiting from this? What if you spent your energy, all this energy you are spending searching for articles that support your cause, thinking of all the ways someone’s motives are rooted in capitalism… what if you took that energy and put it toward something positive? After all, you’re just as rooted in capitalism as anyone in this world. You’ve devoted your entire life to it. What’s that? you do something positive already? Oh, so I guess that gives you the right to be negative in your free time. You’re entitled to that right…

Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m the biggest cynic out there. Maybe this is one big ball of negativity. I guess it all depends on how you look at it, how you want to look at it? But, I’ll do you like we do in theatre; I’m gonna ask you this question and you don’t have to have an answer right now, maybe you’ll never have an answer, but just think about it…. Are you a Cynic?

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