The Psychological Junk-Food: Cynicism

00 When we’re young we all lean towards idealism, believing that not only the good but the best is inevitable, seeing the world simplistically: black and white, good and bad.  Then eventually we come face-to-face with the bucket of cold water known as reality.  When we’re disappointed by people and circumstances the bud of cynicism begins to sprout.  Cynicism is really a reaction to disappointment.  Either our idealism or our idea about how a situation should work out is met with resistance.  When we’re let down and angered we’re faced with how to respond.  It’s at this tipping point that our justifiable frustration can turn into a poison that enters our own blood stream.  A cynic is a dejected idealist. We begin to think that cynicism keeps us alert to the potential dangers that lurk from the individuals and organizations that try to manipulate us into believing what they say.  The cynical voice in our heads convinces us we are more “streetwise.” So we surrender to the cynic inside us. I’ve heard it said that, “The problem with being a cynic these days is that it’s difficult to keep up.”  There is certainly no shortage of targets for the cynic.  […]

This Marathon of Hope

00If you are quiet enough in your kitchen, you will hear a noise. It is a continuous sound, a long, droning noise with no particular beginning or ending. It is the same flat noise, and it goes on and on and on, hour after hour, day after day, making that sound, mostly unnoticed, there in the corner of your kitchen. It’s the buzzing of your refrigerator. We forget that it’s there but it just drones on in our house. If we unplugged it and shut off the buzz we’d probably be shocked at how loud it is. This is very much like the feeling of hopelessness that sometimes settles on our lives and goes unnoticed. Usually because of past expectations not being met or disappointment with circumstances a buzz of pessimism can begin to drone in our life. Hopelessness seems to be all around us lately. Whether it’s the economy, a cruddy church experience, failed promises or family brokenness there seems to be plenty of fodder for feeling a measure of despair. Cynicism is extremely popular right now. “Whatever it is, it will let you down. Whatever you do, don’t get your hopes up. Whatever you think it is, it […]