Life Lesson #0031: Cynicism



…is hard to spell right on the first go.

I can be full of vinegar if I want to be.

I remember once being awoken early some Saturday morning to do a favor for my aunt. In the car ride over with her and my mom, I was full of sarcastic one liners. I was really awful. In fact, it got so bad that I was berating Neil Diamond for his vapid, unimaginative song lyrics. (Who does that to Neil Diamond!?*)

*It should be noted that I’m currently listening to a Jason Derulo song. So… Neil… well… your song is still pretty lame, but you have company.

This is a very mild example of the many times in my life I’ve dwelt on the cynical side of life, and I really wish I spent less time there.

I can view the world from a cynical perspective and think I’m being a wise, realistic and pragmatic sage. This is exaggeration, but it goes something like, “I won’t be a sucker and get caught off guard by pie in the sky thinking. I know how the world works. It’s run by wealthy people who either inherit their money or cheat to get it, and they just use pretty people to sell their ideas, wares, and services to the rest of us, further cementing their grip on power.”

Perhaps there’s an element of truth to that line, but such a dark perspective really sucks joy out of life.

The secret to dealing with a lack of power or any other cause for cynicism is simply deflating its grip on our focus by finding joy in things anyway. I.e. Stop buying their stuff and build your own stuff and enjoy that sense of pride. Form your own views by thoroughly investigating subjects you may not know much about. If you’re me, stop worrying about thoughts like, “More people would give a damn about me and my thoughts if I were pretty,” and celebrate the few people who do give a damn and how awesome it is to share life with them. Consider the world and what you can do to leave a positive imprint on it, and you just may get more power (and it would be positive power).

Living with a joy over cynicism perspective doesn’t leave you much time for oppressive negativity… and gives you a strong foundation for a great life.






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