Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Skeptic of Cynicism

Over the next week or so I am going to take an introspective bunny trail with the goal of finding out the truth behind a razor-like comment that someone made about me:
"Pat, your such a cynical S.O.B."
I don't really care about the S.O.B. part because that is just juvenile name calling. I am concerned about the cynical label though. It is serious. Obviously, the person who slung the mud must know something about me and can see some connection between the meaning of cynicism and my character. I must rightly presume that they even know what they are saying and they understand the real meaning of cynicism. It is obvious, isn't it, that a person means what they say. (Did you get that? There is my cynicism shining through. I think. Now that is my skepticism. Uggghhh!)

I always have to start with a solid definition to lay the ground work. The dictionary says that a cynic is:
  1. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness.
  2. A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative.
  3. A member of a sect of ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue.
Yes to #1, Possibly to #2, and No to #3. I can already see, my skepticism has to do with #2. Am I really this way? Is it a serious character flaw or am I just in a rut? Am I cynical to everybody I know or is it just something I exhibit when I interact with the mud slinger name caller, in which case, it would be his problem because he acts in such a way as to cause me to be cynical of his every move? (There, my cynic self rising to the top.)

I will set out to learn more.

Related Post: Realistic Negativism

1 comment:

Jeff Burton said...

To the extent I am a cynic, I'm a #2. Completely and utterly.