9:42 PM (58 minutes ago)
This is the other side of mindfulness.
To live one’s life in a constant state of recognition that nothingnothingnothing is straightforward and to want to sit and think and just sit and think, but always being pulled into the walking and talking and the endlessendlessendless cookingcleaningthisandthat…
We’ve been talking a lot about happiness at work lately, breaking down the idea and how other ideas get in its way. Apparently, according to Dr. Martin Seligman, you need to be doing something meaningful in order to attain the life satisfaction often referred to as happy. Of course, it is not so simple as that.
The other day, we came across an idea that all but destroys the chance for happiness. Cynicism.
I am, ladies and gentlemen, deeply cynical. For example, at the Thanksgiving dinner table, I announced that to offer up ideas of gratitude in such a show of custom as at the table bestowed with turkey was bound to lead to insincerity.
Tonight, my son remembered that. When I asked what he was thankful for: “Wouldn’t that be insincere?”
I had to explain to him that I was cynical and that cynical is not a good thing to be, because it leads you to destroy every good intention and turn toward some jaded end, to wreck every swell idea with the sharp and precise ways that it could be seen as lousy.
(Cynicism turns the good to bad, which is ironic, as rooted in Virtue as cynicism was intended to be.)
The most powerful thing that cynicism can accomplish is to make an idea seem utterly idiotic to the point of being shameful, something never to be spoken of again because it is so:
It means Nothing.
Thus, how is a cynic to attain happiness…if nothing means anything?
Oh, yes. That’s correct. The cynic attains happiness by living a life of virtue free from the trappings and conventions of modern life that impede our best humanity.
However, given that the cynics must often live among the thisandthatandtheotheragainagain
…how does a cynic cope?
How do you unlearn the cynicism you learned when you were young, as a way of fighting against the mean-spirited stupidity of the world, without realizing that to see the world as stupid is a little stupid in itself, as well as mean-spirited?
Oh, yeah. The cynic cannot celebrate in the midst of the non-Virtuous.*
Dude, whatever. I am so over that.
*keep in mind I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.
It’s worth noting that – for the most part, like most people – I don’t know shit about philosophy or the actual meaning of cynicism.