As the years roll under my feet and so many scandals erupt I find it so easy to be cynical to the activities of humanity.
In general, television news has become a twenty four hour cycle of “whack the mole” where the mole is anyone or any event that can garnish the most eye-balls at that particular moment in time.
Some would say that the problem with the news today is that most of what is reported really isn’t news. Stories are not being vetted properly and getting the scoop is more important than actually getting the story right.
Maybe it is just human nature as we grow older to develop an attitude of scornful or jaded negativity and general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others. Is it possible that it is a survival tactic?
My wife barked at me the other day because I was being cynical of what CNN happen to be reporting on at that time. She later explained that all she really wanted was to watch “the news” without side commentary.
This started me thinking about my attitude and actions, especially during the Christmas season. Over the past couple I days I’ve thought ‘you know, it becomes harder and harder to be a cynic if you allow yourself to go down that road.’ You start to get tired of the petty little dumb things people do. Your patience shortens and I think eventually you become an isolated, mean, grumpy, old soul.
So what do you do about this “affliction”?
You take action to at least change things you find you don’t like.
Don’t like poverty – help people in poverty learn to get out of it.
Don’t like bad politicians – find a good politician and support them like no tomorrow or even better become a great politician yourself.
Don’t like bad drivers – learn great defensive driving techniques and stay the hell away from them.
Whatever your don’t like – ACT and do something to either fix it or buffer yourself from it as much as possible.
During the last couple of days thinking about this my mind reminded me of a trip to Seattle. Traditionally, when I go to Seattle, I go down to Pike’s Public Market. I like to hang around, buy things and in general soak up the atmosphere.
In 2003 while down there a guy came up to me and asked for five dollars. David, as I later learned his name, was this tall, gentle soul who looked like he hadn’t slept in a warm bed in months or even years. He told me of his plans to get back to school via a scholarship to play basketball. My wife still remembers the big, new, high-top shoes he was wearing. Although I wasn’t so sure of his story and not really wanting to give him five bucks to be spent on booze or such I told him “David, are you hungry?” to which he said “yea, I am.” So I said “I’ll tell you what, pick a restaurant here and I’ll buy you a lunch and don’t worry about what you get, and get you something for take-out.”
He picked a Chinese restaurant there and we went in and ordered for him. After getting his food we left him alone. Later I came back by and asked the lady at the restaurant if he finished his food and she said “yea, nothing was left over.”
Looking back at that story I realize that moments like that are what makes us all human. Those moments are what separate us from the beasts of this world. In moments of despair when we ACT to help each other we not only help those in need, but just as important, we show ourselves what life is truly about.
Life is about living as human race, working on ourselves to be better humans, helping others that want help become better humans, comforting each other and loving each other.
I believe that living life through cynical eyes becomes very, very hard over time. ACTING, on the other hand, to make life easier for one’s self and humanity, that is easy!