It’s safe being a cynic. Cynics don’t have to create. They don’t have to take chances. They can scoff at the risks that other people have taken. They can ridicule the courage others have shown in order to make some contribution to this world.
Cynics are hardly new to the world. They’ve been around since Diogenes at least, but now their day has really arrived. The Internet has given cynics an audience and that’s what they’ve always wanted. Not only can they assassinate someone else’s character, but they can do so while remaining in hiding. It is a cynics paradise. A place where they can be loud and vicious and still remain in hiding. Tear people down for taking risks while they themselves avoid taking any risk at all. They are emboldened by the anonymity and become bullies and trolls.
Other cynics just hide behind their cruelty. They create an illusion of authority by mocking others. We witness it on T.V. and radio where hosts verbally assault guests or competitors. And there is a huge population of other cynics out there who eat it up. They love to watch other people get torn down because it validates their decision to do nothing. That’s what they get, they tell themselves, for sticking their neck out.
The travesty in all this is two fold. First, cynics deny their duty of contribution. Rather than helping the world in some way, they laugh at others who try. Second, those who do not understand the motives of the cynic can be intimidated or discouraged from trying all together for fear of the cynic’s attacks.
But why? They hold no real power. They are, by nature, weak. It’s their very weakness that lead them to be cynics. Perhaps they could influence other cynics, but they too are powerless.
You are better than a cynic. You may even be capable of convincing a cynic to be relevant. After all, when push comes to shove, that’s what we all really want. In fact, it’s what we all really need. Even the cynic.