So I just finished watching the latest episode of South Park and I couldn’t help but think, wow, thats me. Its an episode about cynicism. Stan starts to see everything as “shit,” literally. Comedic value of the episode aside it brings to light a reality that I face everyday, the older you get the easier cynicism is to come by.
I am a romantic idealist, often imagining the possibilities that could improve a situation. But as the years have gone on my idealism, while stronger than ever, manifests itself in a deeply jaded cynicism. Take tonight for example, I stumble across a website for a church and less than a minute later I catch myself ranting. Over what you ask? Coffee. Yea thats right, coffee. This church put on its website that they have two locations, one a little more traditional one and the other a little more contemporary. As the descriptions of each followed the latter included a quip about enjoying a cup of coffee. The first thing that popped into my head was, “why is it that so often being relevant is so closely associated with drinking a cup of coffee?” I then proceeded to soap box about how being relevant doesn’t mean you need to have coffee.
Being the idealist that I am I cannot stand it when I see or hear such an asinine statement. It is tough for me to walk the path of someone who highly values perspective especially when I see what I would call stupid informing or forming a bad decision. Or when I listen to a sermon, its like hearing nails on a chalkboard. There is a hint of arrogance to my cynicism. A hint of superiority and not one of humility.
I dont know why cynicism is my knee jerk reaction. I also dont know if cynicism really is as bad as I or other make it out to be. I feel like there needs to be a line. One that recognizes those who have gone before and then looks toward what one day might come. A line that has a lot of room for simple and complex answers, for open and closed ways of doing things. Perhaps if there were such a line I wouldnt be as cynical.
Probably not. I have a feeling that I will always carry with me the cynicism. It has been there since before college and will more than likely be there in the life to come. The question is though, how will I direct my cynicism. Should I silence it? Offer my services to the highest bidder? Be an equal opportunity cynic? Somehow I think I won’t have to choose because there will always be plenty of cynicism to go around.