Disclaimer: this is written by an eternal optimist, the personification of rosy-colored glasses.
My go-to, thesaurus.com, lists several synonyms for cynical. Among them: contemptuous, derisive, misanthropic, mocking, scornful and sneering. However, cool, swell, pleasant and cat's pajamas are missing from the list.
I have noticed people are have become so nasty to each other, seemingly merely to appear cool, or to fit in. We have accepted a dialect of complaining, about life, about things that "society" deems impossible to change. The conversation, centered on the existential damnation of society, is without recommendations for fixing or brightening this apparent fate. It is all about how others and the world couldn't possibly be helped because everyone is only here to help themselves. Because this is the current culture, we have learned to speak cynic, so we can sound like everyone else.
When did it become cool to punch other people in the face with our attitudes? Instead of making observations that trample other people, I'm attempting to change the tone to an encouraging one.
"When did it become cool to punch other people in the face with our attitudes?"
I was looking through Facebook the other day and, of course, stopped for a "dogs doing funny things" post that showed pictures of dogs who had, for whatever reason, become captivated by a wall or a corner or an inanimate object. Cute and funny, right? The comments would suggest otherwise. Many were judging the dog owners (who likely didn't know their photo would be used in such a compilation) by saying that the dog was sick or needed a vet and shouldn't be photographed, but helped. I mean, for real people? On dog posts?
As I mentioned in my disclaimer, I tend to see the brighter side of things. Despite that, I appreciate and wouldn't ask to change realists, pessimists and all the in-between. Cynicism and the like are different. To be cynical is to make passing judgement on someone because you assume they are acting selfishly. It is centered on distrust of someone's motives and morality. In simple terms, a cynical person would assume that if I smile and tell you I like your shirt, I want you to say it back or to do me a favor in the future. Because I'm selfish.
For now, I am merely encouraging us to express how "cool" we actually are by giving people the benefit of the doubt (until of course they no longer deserve it) by first thinking that their ideas and thoughts for others are genuine. Second, I hope we can take happy, thoughtful and loving acts and words as they are: cool.