Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Who or what is a Cynic?

What does it mean if you are a cynic?
I have often been called a cynic, and paid no attention to it. I have been called a lot of things in my life and a 'cynic' was definitely not considered bad enough to run off and find a psychiatrist specializing in the rehabilitation of cynics. If that is what I am, so be it.
Then today happened. The cynic label was thrown in my face, but with obvious malice. The whole thing started off by responding to a question as to my interpretation of the progress of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in sub Saharan Africa.
Anyway, the word cynic was used as bad word, something like that saying often seen that goes “ You say I am a bitch as if it is a bad thing” or words to that effect.
For clarification I went around looking for the book definition of a cynic and from a number sources, the following :-

A person who believes that all people are motivated by selfishness
A person whose outlook is scornfully negative
A Faultfinder (someone who is critical of the motives of others)

There are many, many more. One thing they all have in common is that they are all negative. So, a cynic by definition, is not a nice person, and by default that includes yours truly.
Anyhow, knowing that I am a nice guy when I want to be, I went off looking for a deeper meaning.
The first site I visited was Rons Modern Philosophies of a Cynic. These gems of wisdom I found there

-Work is accomplished by those employees who are still trying to reach their own levels of incompetence
-Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which a person can die.
-Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups
-If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that proves you tried
(Lots more at Rons site)
I can happily relate to all of these statements. So, if these “philosophies” are those of a cynic, then I am a very strong candidate for the Cynic club tie.
(To be continued........Posted instead of saving to draft...)

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