Tuesday 24 October 2017

Mindful moment… Silence your inner cynic

'We cannot give up hope that things will be better'
'We cannot give up hope that things will be better'

I've been watching a lot of US-based news at the moment, as indeed many of us have, and I have become a big fan of comedian and television presenter Stephen Colbert.

I came across this quote from him, which I like a lot: "Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us."

It's perhaps a surprising quote from a man who is paid to front a satirical news show, whose stock-in-trade is often to look at the bleakest side of life - but he's right.

It's so easy to be cynical and dismissive of the world and other people - but how is that helping anybody? We can all see that the world is in a mess right now but we cannot give up hope that things will get better.

As Barack Obama - then a Chicago senator - said about the 2004 US presidential election: "Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?"

* Marianne Power is the author of helpmeblog.net

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