the case against cynicism

Timely breezes on evening walks, caps of graduates taking flight, a favorite pair of sunglasses making their debut – reasons to smile abound.

I live in a world full of narcissists.

Much of my adult life was dominated by this belief. In recent years, I’ve made amendments.

I live in a world full of narcissists, and I am one of them.

Now, through a lot of prayerful consideration, reading and listening, I’ve changed my tune.

Recently while scrolling through LinkedIn, I saw what seemed like the hundredth post of a graduate sharing how excited they were about finishing their respective degree. These posts are often filled with gratitude and responded to with words of support and admiration. I wasn’t the most positive about them until I saw one from a student who shared they are the first person of color to earn a specific honor he received upon completion of his PhD. I was profoundly moved by his honest reflection and unbridled joy.

What if, all this time, I’ve simply been a cynic?

Social media is now part of how we communicate. We post, we share, we support and at times, we hate.

Cynicism is a disease. It diminishes, erodes and dismisses. It’s not honorable, nor should it be accepted as the way of the intellectual.

Now, narcissism is alive and well but the way to combat it isn’t cynicism, it’s authenticity.

Next time I see someone post about celebrating a degree I’m going to reach out to them and ask them to lunch so I can hear all about their journey, not critique it from the sidelines.

I live in a world, full of people just trying to make something out of this life, and I am one of them.

Reasons to smile abound.

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