Cynics of the world – UNITE !

Mar 24th
Posted by shambo  as Culture, philosophy, Relationships

Let me say this about that.

I have a number of old friends who are,¬†as a lot, pretty positive on life.¬† They’re convinced that “the glass is half full” and seem to enjoy smelling the roses conveniently planted¬†along the road of life.¬† They make lemonade out of any lemons that come their way, whistle-while-they-work, and enjoy singing the anthem of the optimist:¬† “Don’t Worry – Be Happy.”¬† In other words, they’re nothing like me.

This group of friends, with Mrs. Shambo counted among their number, have often accused me of being a pessimist.¬† This simply is not true.¬† A pessimist is a person who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.¬† That’s just not me.¬† I’m a “realist”.¬†¬†There is a difference.

And as a realist, I often reject the conventional wisdom with which I am bludgeoned daily.¬† Conventional wisdom, for example, would have one believe that drinking alcohol to excess is…¬†¬†¬† bad.¬† But¬†I¬†see no harm in¬†getting¬†a good buzz¬†because, every realist knows as I do, you can’t¬†fall off the floor.¬†

I don’t like things just because I’m told I should like them.¬† Bean curd may be healthy, but it smells like wet dog.¬† Children are adorable, but only¬†when their parents put them in the car to take them the hell away from me.¬† The sound of a bagpipe may be soulful,¬†but I would rather suck ear wax out of a geriatric than have to listen to one ¬†……¬†unlike an onion, no one cries when you stick a knife into a bagpipe.

Mrs. Shambo is often my most ardent critic.¬† She has tried to encourage me to embrace “moderation in all things”, but drinking, gambling, partying, over-eating,¬†driving too fast, and chasing the next adrenaline rush is what makes life worth living.¬† I’m not a guy¬†who eats fiber because it will allow me to live five more years – just to eat more fiber.¬† I’m a “realist”.¬† I have a realistic view of my true purpose here on Earth ………¬† I am here to serve as a warning to others.

The problem with being a “realist” is that it can lead to cynicism.¬† That in itself, is not such a big deal, just as long as¬†you don’t let it degrade into the dark abyss of embitterment.¬† A “cynic” is a “realist”¬†who¬†has realized that he can’t¬†open the¬†eyes of all the optimists out there – but tries anyway.¬†

Optimists are the chew-toys of old cynics.¬† They never tire of shredding them, thread-by-thread, and tossing them aside to look for the next hapless victim.¬† Strangely, the optimists don’t seem to mind.¬† An optimist is a true believer in that all¬†experiences are inherently¬†pleasurable and that all things are possible.¬† I once asked an incurable optimist¬†to prove this assertion by¬†demonstrating to¬†me he could¬†Baptize a cat.¬† But alas, he demurred.

Optimist are easily confused.¬† When faced¬†with a choice¬†between two evils,¬†an optimist¬†will obsess for days trying to find inherent goodness in one of the choices.¬† A cynic thinks it’s fun to¬†choose the one he hasn’t tried yet.¬†

Mathematical probabilities are especially confusing to optimists.¬† They actually believe there is a chance they could win the lottery and spend gojillions of dollars¬†pursuing this eventuality of good fortune.¬†¬†¬†When¬†I explain that the mathematical¬†probability of winning the lottery¬†is smaller than the odds the next Pope to be chosen¬†will be the Mayor¬†of Des Moines,¬†they¬†call me a cynic who doesn’t believe in¬†the power of positive thinking.

Oh, I believe in positive thinking alright¬†-¬†not just the¬†optimist’s definition -¬†or the one I call¬†“self improvement through self deception”.¬†¬†Even as¬†a realist, there are a number of things about which I think positively.¬†For example,¬†I¬†think, positively, I would never trust my dog to watch my food.¬†

Being a realist or a cynic is neither good nor bad. It’s just a different way of vetting the choices one has in life.¬† We all deal with the human condition in our¬†own way – relationships with our family, our friends and our neighbors.¬† And, neighbors are often the most challenging.¬†¬†Neighbors are fine as long as they stay next door.¬† But while the optimists sing a song of brotherhood and good will:¬†

“This land is your land, this land is my land, this land is made for you and me.”

I sing the song of realism:

“This land is your land, this land is my land, now seriously, get off my lawn.”

And, that’s all I have to say about that.



One Comment

  1. Wileyburg  25th March 2010  

    I hope that I fall into the unique category of what you referred to as “a number of old friends who are, as a lot, pretty positive on life.” I gotta side with Mrs Shambo on this one! I believe that you did a nice job or defining yourself as a Realist!!! Keep up the good work!!

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2013 - 2009, All Rights Reserved - Powered By Wordpress || Designed By Ridgey