The Cynical Optimist

Courtesy of BrainyQuote. While looking for good images to include here, I encountered a lot of quotes and images that seemed to indicate that cynicism is akin to prejudice and bias and a very negative thing. The above quote is more how I feel about it. It’s a tool.

“The Cynical Optimist” seems like it should be a contradictory title. But if you define optimism as a belief that things will turn out as you think they will turn out, then maybe it’s not.

Optimism is more commonly defined as hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. This would seem to presuppose a positive outcome. Whereas, my definition above does not make that supposition.

Cynicism is generally viewed as an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest. And you know, when you take things down to their very basics, I think that is probably true. But then, I’m a self-confessed cynic and I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.

Thing is, I’ve done a number of good and nice things for people simply because it pleased me to do them. Not because I thought I was behaving laudably. I got a sense of fulfillment from the doing. I’d call that self-interest.

I’m 70 years old. I’ve seen a few things. I’ve become fairly cynical over the years. But, I’m still an optimist at heart. Because while I don’t expect much, every now and then something surprises the heck out of me.

It’s those little surprises that keep me going.

And that’s my thought for the day.

Courtesy of A-Z Quotes

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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