Better than thou…

Where I grew up and in the region around, there is and was ultra competitiveness. Neighbors and relatives always wanting to be one-up on the other. This is probably what happens when resources are limited (even talents, let’s say) and demand is more – as in more population. This leads to a fabric of negative attitudes among those who are relatively more accomplished. One such trait is Cynicism. Interestingly, if you go back to the origins of the word, you fill find cynicism as a school of thought where certain people wanted to live life as naturally as possible without being attached to things like sex, power, fame, etc i.e., live a simple life. This school of thought largely disappeared by the fifth century and over a period of time the word came to emphasize the negative aspects of it – such as a disbelief in the sincerity of the motives. In the same regard they are still supposed shun away from things that they scorn against which is practically everything. As long as there is a motive in anything, that motive is disbelieved and that’s a cynic. I have seen many people take pride in being a cynic.The problem arises when one starts questioning even the most genuine of motives and it compounds when the cynic themselves is not as accomplished. Cynicism has become so pervasive that many are inherently cynic in the Eastern world I am exposed to. They scorn at anything. It might not be explicit but there is always an inner thought that passes by the being – ‘No big deal’ is probably the most common form of cynicism as it exists today given the right context. It is not when a child challenges himself and says ‘It’s no big deal’ but when one disregards the accomplishment of that child is when he is a cynic. Being a cynic is easy. We have to talk about the opposite of being a cynic – that’s an appreciator. Appreciating takes a lot of positive thinking, positive attitude, recognition and more in taking that step forward and saying ‘it is good’. As always, the easy path is the path of least resistance and one can fall for the trap.


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