The unexamined life is not worth living.  –Socrates

I readily admit to being somewhat cynical — to what degree, I can’t be absolute — and I readily submit to being a realist. Really, is it possible to be a realist without being more or less cynical? Perhaps more significantly, is it possible to be a cynic without caring? Let other cynics  speak for themselves; I wouldn’t be cynical if I didn’t care.

Of course, I wasn’t born cynical. One only gets that way out of an abundance of living in the real world, which usually happens — or begins to happen — soon enough. We were all believing children once. I doubt if children are even capable of being cynical, although God knows, shamefully, that many have reason enough to be.  But what of adult true believers — those who have stopped growing, stopped wanting to know why, even if the answer begs the question?

Do a search for quotes about cynicism, and you will find many by cynics, as well as many by scoffers of cynics — and if you really think about it, doesn’t that make scoffers cynics too? Here is the mix; you be the judge:

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.  –George Bernard Shaw

A cynic is just a man who found out when he was about ten that there wasn’t any Santa Claus, and he’s still upset.  –J. G. Cozzens

Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.  –George Carlin

A cynic sees little to admire in the world, while the world sees even less to admire in him.  –Evan Esar

Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what is really going on.  –Mike Royko

I’m not ready to let the youthful part of myself go yet. If maturity means becoming a cynic, if you have to kill the part of yourself that is naive and romantic and idealistic to claim maturity, is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact?  –Kenneth Cain

Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.  –Glen Cook






5 comments on “DO CYNICS CARE?

  1. arekhill1 says:

    I long ago gave up cynicism for smart-assism. Doesn’t make you more popular, but it is more fun.


  2. mistermuse says:

    I think you’re being too modest, Ricardo – you do both, and it’s probably a more effective combination than cynicism and appealing to our better angels, which I haven’t found to be particularly popular either.


  3. Don Frankel says:

    The cynic is the guy who realizes he’s being lied to.


  4. mistermuse says:

    Don, it’s tempting to think that’s why we’re so cynical about politicians, but what worries me more than lying is that too many politicians are “true believers” – they really believe what they say.


  5. Don Frankel says:

    Muse I believe you’re right. Sometimes they know they are lying but other times they do believe.


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