Those who claim they aren’t are perhaps the most troubled of all.
I’ve been most troubled lately by my inability to “be positive,” to “count my blessings,” to “bring joy,” or to embrace similar well-worn adages. I find myself constantly lapsing into cynicism, and eventually realized that in some circumstances, cynicism is healthy. A low bullshit tolerance is a valuable trait.
I’ve become better at distinguishing the strength and wisdom that sometimes arises after a loss from the false bravado that accompanies denial. Our experiences inevitably change us, but if we are truly fortunate, we are able to resist allowing them to define us.
Some of you are nodding in agreement, while many are shaking your heads, insisting I’ve offered yet another platitude, negating my own thesis. I will offer this suggestion to cynics. Hang onto that cynicism. It is a far better state of mind than anger, and the best alternative to despair. I won’t offer examples, as I’m sure each of you can identify legions of them. We each have our favorites, supplied by our individual experience, and each day adds more opportunities to hone our cynical skills.
One caveat: be judicious with your cynicism. If you know something is wrong, don’t allow cynicism to cause you to second guess your judgment. Do not let it cloud your assessment of truth. Do not permit it to temper your joy.