Creative Juice: What You Cannot Do If You Are a Cynic

August 19, 2013

I don’t know when I became so cynical.

But bit by bit, I stopped seeing the world’s through a child’s eyes.  I stopped being an idealist or an optimist, and started being a “realist.”  I started seeing the world as it really is.

Cynicism is an addictive attitude.  It’s a powerful and attractive lure that invites people to come be cynical together.  It smirks at the rest of the world.

It took me a long time to get over my cynicism.  But as I looked at the rest of the world, I slowly noticed something.

The people who are out there creating beauty, loving humanity, changing the world for the better seem to be idealists.  They believe the world is worth loving.  They believe there is beauty to be found.  They audaciously believe that the world can changeand perhaps even more audaciously, that they can change the world.  Creating change takes boldness, bravery, even perhaps some sort of naivete.

I didn’t realize how much my cynical attitude was wrecking me until I started to let go of it. Because of all the things I had become cynical about, the one thing that I had become most cynical about was myself.  I no longer saw myself as I did when I was a child.  I saw my limitations, my brokenness, my shame.  And it was paralyzing.

This world is worth being a shameless idealist, an incorrigible optimist, and an audacious believer in our power to create beauty around us.

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Are you going to be a cynic or a creative?

7 responses to Creative Juice: What You Cannot Do If You Are a Cynic

  1. The cynic in me rises up often but I’m pushing for the creative. Some days I win, others I don’t. It’s battling the cynic that’s going to make me successful.
    Joseph Lalonde recently posted..6 Ways Leaders Continue To Grow

  2. I try to let go of cynicism but my environment (I.e. everyday life) makes it difficult. Idealism has a tendency to get beaten down a lot.

  3. Oh, I don’t know…
    Ecclesiastes is pretty creative. :-)

    You make an interesting point, of course.

  4. Cynicism is poison — and for some, depending on your web of beliefs, it is the natural outcome if you look at the world honestly.

    However, whether Christian, Muslim or Atheist, I think you can look at the world honestly and still come out a hopeful optimist. No need to be a naive idealist, but you can be an optimist who finds enchantment, beauty, meaning and amazement in life not matter using lots of world views.

    If cynicism is your trap, there is something deadly in your worldview.

    I agree. I am an Optimistic Naturalist (just did a post with a graph containing that phrase, actually).
    Sabio Lantz recently posted..Endothermic Religious Freedom

  5. So my question is, how do you change it? I’m a total cynic. I feel like I started as a cynic maybe even before my teen years, but have come out of It, gone back in, come out, gone back in my entire life. Maybe I need to change my surroundings. Surround myself with beauty and wonder and good things. I’m even having cynical thoughts about that last sentence.
    Kate Hall recently posted..Caption That! (Round 47)

  6. One can fake sophistication through Cynicism. And yet, there’s some creative power to it. The Naked Pastor has had some stuff… and one could argue that some of the Prophets were pretty cynical but yet created some beautiful visions. They were cynical about the present, but painted pictures of what it could be… Yet no prophet is accepted in his or her hometown… so there’s that…
    Luke recently posted..The Mutt

  7. Really interesting thoughts! I’ve always said that I’d much rather be a believer than a doubter, a dreamer rather than a cynical, bitter person… And yet, in recent months I have found myself becoming more and more cynical about many things… Something that has helped me is reminding myself not to be the person who distances myself from something or someone just so I can point at it/ them… Cynicism will never get us far in life, but staying teachable, and allowing ourselves to dream ridiculously might just have some possibilities :)