Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say 'no.' But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow.
If cynicism and love lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, do we not sometimes fall in love in order to escape the debilitating cynicism to which we are prone? Is there not in every coup de foudre a certain willful exaggeration of the qualities of the beloved, an exaggeration which distracts us from our habitual pessimism and focuses our energies on someone in whom we can believe in a way we have never believed in ourselves?
Alain de Botton
If the essence of cynicism consists in preferring nature to art, virtue to beauty and science; in not bothering about the letter of things -- to which the Stoic strictly adheres -- but in looking up to the spirit of things; in absolute contempt of all economic values and political splendor, and in courageous defence of the rights of independent freedom; then Christianity would be nothing but universal cynicism.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
Cynicism creates a numbness toward life. Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping... To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know, " cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit... Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope.But the similarity is only surface deep.Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father... Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life... Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You'd think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don't do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life... The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don't need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can't pray because everything out of control, little is possible. With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism's ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad... Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.
Paul E. Miller
To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know, " cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit... A praying life is just the opposite. It engaged evil. It doesn't take no for an answer. The psalmist was in God's face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope.
Paul E. Miller
Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't "" not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't - not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Thus did I receive, through the singing of these various hymns and the moral education that accompanied them, not only a religious, but a political schooling of sorts. For though the intertwining of morality and politics does not necessarily make for a clear understanding of the cynicism that governs world affairs., it does engender impatience with and a rejection of this cynicism, and a real belief in a more perfect, less unjust world. And though I regret not having been taught more about the real world, I have never regretted being taught this kind of morality first.
Jean Said Makdisi
Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying "yes" begins things. Saying "yes" is how things grow. Saying "yes" leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say "yes'.
Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow. Saying 'yes' leads to knowledge. 'Yes' is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes'.