our souls are in dire need of protection from cynicism.
The best defense against it
is vigorous, intelligent, sincere hope,
not blind optimism,
because that too is a form of resignation,
to believe that everything will work out just fine
and we need not apply ourselves.
We need a hope bolstered by critical thinking
that is clear-headed in identifying what is lacking,
in ourselves, our religion, or the world,
but then envisions ways to create it
and endeavors to do that.
In its passivity and resignation,
cynicism is a hardening,
a calcification of the soul.
Hope is a stretching of its ligaments,
a limber reach for something greater.
We must strive to be uncynical,
to be a hope-giving force,
to be stewards of love and compassion.
We must choose to lift each other up,
not to take others down
because it is a choice, always,
and because in doing so we lift ourselves up.
Among our most universal human longings
is to affect the world with our actions,
to leave an imprint with our existence.
Both construction and destruction leave a mark
and give us a sense of purpose in the world.
Now, destruction is necessary sometimes;
damaged and damaging religious systems need to be demolished
to clear the way for more enlivening ones.
But destruction alone, without construction to follow it,
is hapless and lazy.
Construction is far more difficult,
because it requires the capacity to imagine something new and better,
and the willingness to exert ourselves toward building it,
even at the risk of failure.
But that is also far more satisfying in the end.
Let’s not just resist cynicism,
let’s fight it actively,
in ourselves and in those we love
and in the communications with which we shape culture.
Cynicism, like all destruction, is easy, it’s lazy.
There is nothing more difficult,
yet more gratifying,
than living with sincere, active, constructive hope
for the human spirit.
Love is the most potent antidote to cynicism,
requiring resistance and courage today.
It is also the most vitalizing sustenance for our souls.
There is nothing more uncynical
than being good to one another,
living in Love.