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September 18, 2013 / Dale Melchin

The Reason for Cynicism and how to Get out: Intro

Publishers Note:  As I was writing this it turned into a long post.  I don’t care for long posts, and I know many of you don’t either.  This intro is long as well so I pray you’ll bear with it.  I’m going to break this down into as many smaller posts as I can.  I hope you enjoy The Reason for Cynicism and How to Get out.

According to Wikipedia the article on modern cynicism Wikipedia says: “Cynicism …is a form of jaded negativity, and other times, realistic criticism or skepticism.”

In my younger years, When I would meet modern cynics I would often write them off as being negative people, thinking that their negativity has no logical basis.  Come to find out, I respond this way because my life had been one of relative ease.  Some of the folks that I know who are cynics have encountered tremendous difficulty or a lot of frustrations in there life, as a result it leaves them jaded.  Some of this difficulty they brought upon themselves, other times, many times, it happened to them.  I must confess that I have touched this level of thought in the recent past, but I have managed to re-cultivate a renewed sense of hope despite what has happened to me.  As a result, I am no longer a wholesale cynic, but I think in a couple of categories of my life I still am.  This is mainly limited to our current government and to organized religion in reference to two areas.  I am not against either of those institution perse.  I am against their misuse.  To the government I am against is misuse by politicians as a means to impose their agenda on us, left right or center.  The original purpose of the government is that it was by the people and for the people.  At this point, I would say that government is by some people, for themselves.

As for organized religion, I against two things in that context.  The promotion of one particular denomination’s ideology, rather than a place to find answers for human existence.  My current church does not do this in the way one of my previous church experiences did.  My current experience of Orthodoxy is that they are trying to deliver ancient truths to the modern world.  I have no problem with this.  My problem with organized religion, isn’t actually with the politics currently.  It is the negativity I have experienced their going back to ethnic and family ties and old arguments that predate my arrival.  Its ridiculous and it needs to stop immediately.  If you are reading this, and you are offended, I encourage you not to be.  I’m not talking about you.  But to quote a recent meme, if it really bothers you that much lace up that bitch and wear it.  Then come talk to me and I’ll give you some context.

So much for my levels of cynicism.  Cynicism is a problem because it is often simply jaded negativity.  Realistic criticism and skepticism is healthy and can lead to change.  The element of jaded negativity is an area that I wish to expound upon.  Jaded negativity happens as a result of having something bad happen to us several times and we accumulate distrust.  That distrust may be of people, institutions, businesses, or the world in general.  This kind of thinking leads directly down the sinkhole into scarcity thinking and further negativity.  Often times I will hear cynics bitch (not complain, bitch) about their circumstances, but do nothing to lift a finger about it.  When I challenge them on it, they have there excuses, but they are never good reasons.

Excuses are like objections in sales, they are meant to be overcome.  For instance if I am trying to sell you on a quote for your house I just gave you, you make complain that $3,000 is too much to paint your house.  I will overcome that objection by saying that $3,000 is an investment that will bring you several benefits.

The first is aesthetic beauty.  Your house will be a warmer and more inviting place after we finish painting it.  You will have many memories in your freshly painted rooms, and it will add to the appeal of those rooms.

The second is quality.  The paint we are agreeing to use is fully washable.  You mentioned that you have kids that will scuff of the walls or color on them.  The paint we are choosing to use will wash off very easily, leaving you no need to touch up after washing it off, provided you follow manufacturer’s specifications and don’t use a scrub pad or get rough with a cloth.

The third is that if you intend to sell your home, it will raise the sale price and the speed that it sells at by 10%.  And, you may not even need to paint the house again when you sell it.

Fourth is that it is going to save you time and money.  You said that if you don’t have me do it, you are going to take a week off work and paint it.  And your wife told me you guys don’t like making household projects like this into family events.  I’m enabling you to free up that time to go somewhere nice with your family and make some memories with them.  You also have the benefit of not having to do it yourself, and you have a credible professional, with several references and recommendations from friends working on your home, so you never have to lift a finger to do the project or worry if it will be done.

Ok that was a bit long, but you get my point.  It’s the same thing if someone gives me an excuse.  A friend of mine told me he wanted to become a programmer, but he was bad at math.  I kindly challenged him with the resource called Khan Academy.  It’s a free online school where you can learn or relearn math your own pace.  I explained the benefits of the course, and the instant feedback he gets from it, and that he can make it a game if he wishes to see how he can do better.  I’m still working on closing the sale with him, on it, but he sees the benefits.

Another example is someone who complains about their job.  I hear this all the time, and yes, I’ve been guilty of it at times.  For me though, it is certain elements of the job.  Overall I really love my current work as I get the opportunity to get inside people’s heads, and meet all kinds of amazing people.  There are two ways to overcome this objection.  The first is to ask, what are you going to do to make the job better for you?  And the second is to ask are you currently looking for other work?  Both of these questions will probably be answered in the negative.  The reason being is that cynics like being cynical.

The problem with cynicism is that it bears 3 insidious weeds.  After those, we’ll talk about how to get out.  However, you’ll have to come back over the next few days to get those insights, as this is a long article and I want to break it up to make it easier on you.

Question:  What is your experience with Cynicism?

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