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The Cure For Cynicism

May 29, 2013

If you have read my blog before, you will know that I have long struggled against the malevolent forces of cynicism—the fear and doubt and hate that endlessly attack. It is the War of Life, fighting against the darker parts of my nature, choosing happiness even when it seems foolish to do so, attempting to anyway. Lately, my vigilance has waned and the darker part of humanity has begun to seem overwhelming.

I feel responsible for taking part in electing our current president, who, despite his endless recitation of hope and his claim to being a man of honor, has done more to promote cynicism and despair around the world than I would’ve thought possible. I know he is not God. I know it is not that it is not easy to get anything done in our nation’s capitol. But what he has done, what he has tried to do and what he is doing, does not match the image he projects. I suppose in that regard, he is a perfect representation of our nation, the country that says one thing and does another, the nation who says life is precious and God is love, while bombing children and tacitly accepting slavery so long as it results in having an iPhone. For my own part, I am no better than anyone else, endlessly whinging while doing nothing to change things.

I feel helpless. It seems that no matter what good is accomplished, the darkness of humanity will sweep it away. Enlightenment only lasts a moment before the base instincts of the human animal take over—the hunger, the greed, the lust. I try not to read the news because I don’t want to know about the father who put his crying baby in the freezer to make her stop crying or the spiritual leader who abused his position to take advantage of children or the latest US bomb to kill innocents or the injured veteran who cannot get his or her benefits because of endless red tape and bureaucracy or the child star who has grown up in a world of judgment and cracked under the pressure. I want to look away but I can’t. These are people. These are all people just like me. They eat, they sleep, they shit, they die, they want to be loved like anyone else. They have been overwhelmed by the forces of darkness—hate, doubt, fear, greed, and lust. Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at times?

My best friend Chelsea was overwhelmed last week. Following an argument with her new boyfriend, she took almost a whole bottle of pills. She is in the hospital now. She is okay physically, but when I went to see her she told me she was sorry she had not been successful. Comparatively on a global scale, she has had a life that was blessed. Her parents were wealthy enough to pay for her to attend college, she is attractive and has had no shortage of suitors, anything she has ever wanted she gotten, but there is no cure for ennui.

It makes me angry at first that the person I consider to be my best friend would turn to a bottle of pills before coming to me. But then, I sort of understand. I understand being overwhelmed and thinking that there is no conceivable way you could ever be happy again. It is difficult to believe in light when you are surrounded by darkness. I don’t know what to say to her. It is a lie to say that things will be okay. Things may be okay for a moment but time doesn’t stop. Life goes on and life is a constant struggle against cynicism and darkness. You will be overwhelmed when you forget that. I am resolved to show her that I love her. I will fight for her if I have to even if that means fighting her. I will stand beside her in the war.

It occurs to me that there can be only one defense against the dark clouds of cynicism: Hope, real hope. I will cling to that like a life preserver.

 

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