I don’t remember when it started. I don’t remember making a conscience decision to be this way. It’s not like when I was a kid I said, “You know what? Instead of seeing the best in most people, I’m just going to assume you’re wrong or have some ulterior motive.” No way man.
A cynic is defined as “a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.”
What a crappy way to go through life, right?
Maybe you’re a little cynical at times too. Don’t we all want to be people who believe that people are capable of selfless acts? That what motivates the good deeds others do is not selfishness, but compassion and goodness. Why don’t we?
Maybe we’ve been burned before? Maybe we’ve had a bad experience that’s tainted our outlook on the rest of the world?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy always assuming there is some other story. I don’t enjoy trying to figure out what’s not being said or what someone is really saying. I don’t enjoy believing that no matter what someone is doing that their real goal is selfish. I don’t like it and I imagine you don’t either.
So, how do we stop? How do we start to fight the urges of cynicism?
I think we can start by looking at what the opposite of cynicism is. The opposite of a cynic is a believer. Someone who trusts. Someone who has faith in others.
How do we stop the cynicism? We have to fight the temptation and the mental battle to distrust, to disbelieve and to not have faith in people. Because it really is a mental battle. It’s you fighting against yourself. When we choose to have faith in humanity we are waging war against cynicism.
Now, that doesn’t mean we start blindly accepting everything at face value and never search for the truth or remain cautious when something feels out of place. It does mean that we will have to start giving people the benefit of the doubt.
There is too much good in the world and in our hearts for us to see the worst in people.
I haven’t got this figured out, but I’m trying. Cynical, is no way to go through life. That much I know for sure.
Join me in fighting against cynicism and believing in people again.
May hope be with you.