👋 Hi, I'm James.


I occasionally write about lessons learned on the journey to live a healthier, happier and more intentional life. 


📍 Austin, TX 

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  • James von der Lieth

Identifying and Defeating Cynicism in Everyday Life

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

When faith ends, cynicism begins.

Cynics are, by definition, pessimistic about life. Since, in the cynic’s view, altruism does not exist and no one acts out of good motives, no promises will ever be upheld.

Cynics are fault-finders.

The cynic focuses on the negative qualities of others. No one is ever good enough for him.

Cynicism stems from lack of control. If the cynic were in charge, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The cynic criticizes and becomes bitter in his heart.

Sarcasm is the cynic's preferred method of communication.

George Carlin famously said, "Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist."

I believe every baby is born with faith in humanity and pure optimism. A cynic has let a bad life experience or their cynical parent take this away from him.

You cannot reason with a cynic.

He will readily spout every statistic why the world is doomed — but never own the solution.

He will say “The problem has become too big or out of control to be solved.” You can’t win him over with reason.

Cynicism is the cancer of the human spirit, but even real cancer doesn’t have the power to inflict cynicism.

I watched my Mom from stage 4 cancer diagnosis to her final day, never once become cynical. Her pure optimism endured.

Don't bother trying to persuade, manipulate, pity, or entertain a cynic's negativity.

An optimistic friend of mine tells cynics, “Jesus loves you” when they say something particularly pessimistic. He’s not even religious, and says it half kidding, but the sentiment makes sense to me. It's the only move to make with a cynic.

The only way to possibly cure the cynic’s cancer of his spirit is pure selfless love.

Maybe, just maybe, this love will inspire the cynic to give life one more chance. Maybe they will find a purpose and faith in the possibility of a better world again. Maybe they won't.

Either way, showing selfless love to the cynic is the only move you have.

If that doesn't work, move on quickly before you are infected by their negative energy.

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