Day 153 of Project 365: Teasels

Where does contemporary cynicism come from? I have a tough time cutting it any slack these days. Used to be, I could justify anyone’s way of thinking or feeling with a “hey, that’s them, not me, and who am I to judge?” 

But now whenever I encounter cynicism — especially in words coming out of my own mouth — I get sad. Not the stubbed-my-toe sad or the can’t-figure-out-what-to-eat-for-dinner sad, but the real sad that lurks around the edges of true things.

I just don’t think we as a species have time and energy to waste on cynicism anymore. All of that could be spent on things we genuinely find fulfilling. “Because life sucks and I am disillusioned” is not an excuse. Life doesn’t owe anyone happiness or anything else. That is its most frustrating and most liberating aspect.

Dunno, I can’t figure it all out tonight, so here is a picture of some dried teasels and a black swan on the mantel. 

Day 153 of Project 365: Teasels

5 thoughts on “Day 153 of Project 365: Teasels

  1. I agree that cynicism is a waste of time and energy, but then again so many many many other things that we humans do are destructive and wasteful, yet somehow they scratch some algorithmic itch in our squishy brain bits.  I suspect it ties right into our deep wiring for social acceptance, and how it’s way less risky for groups to bond over things they sneer at than things they truly care about.

    In short, I think it’s just less energy (in the short term) to be a cynic than it is to truly make yourself vulnerable, even knowing that vulnerability is the key to deep fulfilling connection.


  2. Is the problem cynicism, or a joyless cynicism?  The problem doesn’t seem to be in believing that taxes will go up, death will catch up to us all, that we are every instant running out of time, or any of these other cynical beliefs.  The problem seems to be in treating these facts as reasons to hold the world in disdain, rather than reasons to throw oneself into the world.

    Yes, it all ends in dust, chaos and suffering.  That just strikes me as a good reason to enjoy it while we can.


  3. One of my favorite quotes:

    “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” –Benjamin Franklin


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