Good ol’ cynicism

[Best to read my earlier blog, ‘Capability redefined’, before you read this one.]

Good ol’ cynicism – how to do away with it? Or at least keep it in check?

The day after five gold medals in the 2012 Olympics I remember a journalist remarking that no-one seemed cynical anymore. Or no-one dared to be. We were suddenly all positive, rejoicing, believing in each other and what we could achieve.

Now all that euphoria was likely to fade, and pretty quickly – sadly.

We’d have done well having dustbinned our cynicism to have kept it under a heavy lid. It’s a natural child of mistrust. We only trust our own perspective, our own but not other people’s motives. If we do occasionally show trust, among family or friends, or even at work,  we sure as hell don’t extend to a national level.

We gain far more by trusting than not. Trust doesn’t require that we’re innocents – we won’t find ourselves overrun by charlatans. But we will find ourselves able to have better conversations, more open-minded debates, longer-term viewpoints, make more considered decisions – and expect and even encourage politicians to change their opinions should circumstances require.

But who will stand up against cynicism? It’s more fun to be cynical – and of course much of the humour we love depends on it. And humour is big time  – and I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it. I’m sucked into cynicism as easily as the next man.

So for me as well as the next man we need a few more Olympic moments – and hold on to them a little bit longer.


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