Cynicism is easy. Hope is hard. When we take look at our own lives or listen to the news detailing the happenings of the world, it is easy to allow a cynical point of view to take over our heart and mind. Cynical is defined as “distrusting or disparaging the motives of others“. When we feel discouraged in the face of an unfair world, it is easier to blame others and harden ourselves in protection against the harshness that inevitably comes for us all. Despite our longing for a world that is just, it just doesn’t exist. We know this, and, yet, when something bad happens to us or someone we love, we still think that since it is unjust and undeserved it shouldn’t be happening. This is something we all get the opportunity to confront at one time or another. Will we face it with cynicism or with hope?
The antidote to distrust is faith. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith in this way: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hope and faith are woven together as both involve things we can’t see. It takes courage to hang in there with hope when disappointment and tragedy abound. To hope is to take an active leap in an optimistic direction with a desire for a positive result. That’s probably why the word “hope” is both a noun and a verb.
“Cynicism often draws correct conclusions, but nobody could live by its lights.” –Mason Cooley
One may be justified in taking a cynical view of others and the world, but it’s not the light by which I want to live.