A rare moment of continuity

So there was that.

My last post generated a lot of good responses- thanks to those who shared with me, and asked about the how and why of it. I’ll get into that a little bit here, and expand on my thinking.

Some had asked whether it was drawn from personal experience or mostly fiction, and my answer was that it is, as most of my work, a little of both. I’ve always maintained that we draw at least partially from our life experiences in writing, and that piece was no exception. I’ve been on both sides of similar conversations, and found myself thinking about it a lot.

Some people were led to share with me in the wake of that post, and I’m humbled by that- I like hearing people’s stories, and it’s hard for people to open up like that. If my writing hits home, then I know I’ve done a good job- I think good writing will do that. It was heartbreaking to hear from friends who could relate to a lot of what I wrote, feeling numb to the world or cynical about so much of what had gone on and does go on in their lives.

 

It came up at our small group a couple weeks back, when our group was asked if there was something they could change about themselves, what would it be? My response was, “I didn’t want to be as cynical.” As much fun as a cynical wit can be, genuine cynicism can be very poisonous, and affect our outlooks in ways that we don’t always see.

It’s not easy. We’re in a cynical society, where assuming the worst is often the safest route for anyone to take, in so many paths of our lives. Genuine hope or optimism is met with mockery, and squelched before others can feel the same. And missed opportunities can lead to self-loathing, another acidic trait.

I know I’ve missed chances because of fear, or cynicism. But I can’t get stuck in that. We need to have hope, and be honest about ourselves. How else can we break the cycle, not get bitter or stuck where we are? How many are there who are afraid, secretly heartbroken but not wanting to admit to it, putting up a wall of apparent indifference?

It’s a challenge to avoid being cynical. It has been for me. But we have so much, and hope for so much more. We can’t lose that, ever. That’s how we’ll win, and get past the things that make us hurt.
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3 thoughts on “A rare moment of continuity

  1. DaveC Post author

    I had trouble with that question when posed to me at small group, little surprise I still am. I know what I would LIKE it to look like, if that makes any sense.

    I picture myself as something of a cynic, someone who’s always looking for the cloud in every silver lining, and often times dismissing a possibility rather than having hope that something might work. I too often go into situations looking for ways to fail, and reasons something won’t work, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t take a lot of risks. And while there’s value in being pragmatic, I think I let a negative outlook affect how I approach a lot of situations.

    Cynicism and fear hold me back from taking risks. Some of that’s confidence (fear), and some of that’s the outlook. I feel like I could stand to take a more positive outlook. To not be looking for the smarmy remark in any situation, but how I can improve it, and build someone or some situation up rather than tearing it down or being fatalistic about what it could be.

    That’s general, but practically, I’m still feeling out how it would apply.

  2. Katie Allard

    There’s a time amd a place for all things, Light-hearted cynicism can be a source of joy when shared lovingly with people who know you better. Dark-heared cynicism only serves to cripple and destroy, as it undermines love. A lot of risks can be taken when love is the motivation and you trust in Providence.

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