The Poison in Cynicism

During the retirement years a person can occasionally get a bit hard up for excitement... during my weekly excursions into town I often make it a point to eavesdrop on conversations and general gossip...

...which can be a bit depressing.

Not the stuff about who's doing what with whom, but the general tone of conversations.

As I sifted through some of my eavesdropping on the way back to my trailer (with the ocean view) recently, I hit upon why these conversations tended to be so dispiriting.

They are filled--you might even say fueled by--cynicism.

And it goes beyond the general bitching and moaning about some things to a pervasive cynicism about most everything... 

...the government, its leaders, kids today, the schools, you name it.

Granted, there are many things wrong with all of these.

But, I'm wondering if one of the biggest things wrong is the corruptive attitudes people have.

Okay, so I've said a few things about inflated politicians and pretentious evangelists in these columns.

Here's another example: the late-night talk show hosts...

...who's basic monologue consists of getting laughs by...

...making fun of things in general and ridiculing well-known people in particular...

...saying stuff that I'd get my mouth washed out for when I was a kid.

At the same time we complain that our kids have no respect for anything.

No great surprise there.

Did you every notice how cynicism undermines morale...deflates optimism...poisons expectations... muddles progress?

Ever see a winning team that espoused cynicism...or a country that endured that had a pervasive cynicism about its leaders and institutions?

Kinda makes you think.

We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion,
just as effectively as by bombs.

-Kenneth Clark