I used to be a cynic.
Being cynical is rarely associated with a happy person. And looking back - I wasn’t.
To call someone cynical is to suggest that person:
a) sees the worst in others
b) distrusts their motivations
c) has a generally dark and critical perspective on the world and people
When I studied politics, I was deeply concerned about everything going on in the world; ecological emergencies, corrupt neo-liberal politics, scarce social action, and human injustice.
It felt like I was pulling an empty bandwagon that was getting heavier. I was becoming more and more frustrated. Disillusioned. Pessimistic.
Somewhere down the line, I asked myself what Einstein described as “the most important decision we make.” Whether we believe we live in a hostile or friendly universe.
I examined my core positioning, my beginning point. My thoughts, perceptions, and unique filters were colouring the universe through a cynical lens.
I cast off those gloomy habits and made the decision to view the world as friendly instead of hostile. Life is change, growth is optional. And I choose to be an optimist to build a future that is truly worth living. After all, we don’t see things as they are, we see them as WE are.
I’m no fan of sticking to etymological definitions but the word cynical derives from the Greek word Kynikos, meaning dog-like.
Classical cynics like Diogenes of Sinope regarded virtue as the only necessity for happiness. They sought to free themselves from conventions; become self-sufficient; and live only in accordance with nature. They rejected any conventional notions of happiness involving money, power, or fame, in the pursuit of virtuous, and thus happy lives.
They also stood for cosmopolitanism, freedom of speech, a woman’s right to choose her mate, constitutional law, and - as the name indicates — emulating the simple behaviours of dogs.
I guess I am a good ol’ cynic after all…
I don’t know about you — but I’d rather be a dog than a rat stuck in a race.
Yr friendly cynic,
Stefan “Kynos” Bourn