This morning I woke up got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head and realised with a start that I am a huge cynic. It’s a fact. I can’t help it.
Once a dwell starts yours truly likes to do a little aimless browsing on the before mentioned delightful topic that has started said dwell. Well what I found leaves you feeling a little pensive… to say the least. Here are a few choice quotes (that make me look mega worldly):
“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” – Maya Angelou, as quoted in The Truth in Words (2005) by Neal Zero
“The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. The cynic puts all human actions into two classes — openly bad and secretly bad.” – Henry Ward Beecher, in Lectures to Young Men: On Various Important Subjects (1860) Lecture IV : Portrait Gallery
Yeah maybe I sometimes do that…
“Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” – Charlie Chaplin, in The Great Dictator (1940)
That stung a little, but surely there are some benefits to being a cynic? In Britain I believe we are a nation of cynics, it ain’t healthy dammit!
But it can’t be a coincidence that so many people in this nation are so cynical can it? Well I believe in certain areas of life in Britain cynicism has been thrust upon us. So I have compiled for you the esteemed reader, a few areas where I believe cynicism is important:
1) Always be cynical when listening to a politician (even the ones with nice faces… Andy Burnham, I’m looking at you!). They feed us utter rubbish and are constantly trying to distract us from the actual important issues (*cough* immigration scaremongering whilst the NHS is slowly dismantled *cough*).
2) Always challenge the MAN. The French do it all the time, do you hear the people sing? Although to be fair they did cost me a hundred euros because the trains were on strike, but don’t worry a local taxi driver capitalised on my unfortunate situation.
3) ‘Why?’ Its important to question what you’re told, don’t believe everything people tell you, always assume they might not have it 100% correct and go away and inform yourself on the topic. Ignorance is unacceptable in a world of instant information, I definitely don’t do this enough.
I know I’m late to the party but Russell Brand (love him or hate him) adds nicely to what I’m trying to say in this lovely interview with the ‘Bearded’ Paxman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk
I don’t think being a cynic is as dire as its made out to be (by renowned philosophers worldwide). I think in certain areas of life its important to add a little sprinkle of apprehension and negativity. Where I don’t thinks it’s acceptable is in your personal life. For me it definitely bleeds over, I use to be a bit of an optimist you know. So I suggest in the words of Morecambe and Wise, we all try some good, strong, positive thinking and together life wont let us down.
Photo credit via: http://www.quickmeme.com