Cynicism: the lowest form of engagement
Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
I fear that we’ve become a cynical race.
Simple acts of kindness are construed as attempts to win our favour. We draw unflattering conclusions about the motives of people when they try to better their lives.
We’ve grown accustomed to assuming the worst and expecting little better. We have allowed our cynicism to infiltrate what could be sincere and engaging relationships.
When people say ‘thank you’, we could conclude that this is a meaningless, automatic programmed response. Or we could take it at face value: as a genuine demonstration of gratitude and an attempt to make us feel good about ourselves.
When people offer us advice, we could interpret it as a thinly-veiled attempt to undermine us, or we could see it as a demonstration of their faith in our potential to improve and develop.
Neither interpretations may be true, but I know which one makes me feel better and more likely to engage with sincerity.