Being cynical is probably a conservative boring way to live your life. Where you’ll end up taking less risks and you’re not putting your heart on the line very often. Not trying to sound gushy, but being cynical has its advantages as well. You’ll probably get burned and disappointed less, because you’re taking less chances. You’re not automatically going to take someone’s word when they say something.
For example when a member of Congress refers to someone from the other party as their friend, which happens all the time in the Senate, you’re not automatically going to assume Sen. Smith is friends with Sen. Jones or John McCain is friends with George W. Bush. Just because they say that, you’ll understand that they may just be saying that.
That’s how Washington works and when a member of Congress is referred to as a distinguished gentlemen or distinguished gentle lady, you know that they not be distinguished at all. Perhaps except for being a leader in Congress when it comes to fundraising, or bridges to nowhere where, or “bringing home the bacon”, that no one eats. Because no one lives or drives there, etc.
If you trust someone who has a good track record with you, they have sound judgement, etc and they invite out to treat you for dinner or will pick up the check, you know to take their word they’ll do those things. But when you offer them something to eat and give it to them, something they never had before and they taste it and have a horrible look on their face and they say it’s not good, chances are they are just being nice and don’t take that seriously. Truth and flattery are different.
The only advice I would give here, is take things in life for what they are. And don’t automatically assume everything you hear is the truth. Especially from people who need you for something. I would start with politicians, but anyone who needs something from you, when they do and say things that make sense and you know why they did it and understand it, great.
But if they do or say something strange that’s out of character and is something that’s not a good thing, for example let’s say you love playing tennis. And someone you know needs something from you. And they don’t have a clue about tennis and don’t even like the game and they start talking to about tennis, trying to express an interest in it, even challenging you to a match, don’t automatically assume they’ve become tennis fans.
They just might want you to believe that they are tennis fans instead, as a way to communicate to you. When they give you an explanation for it, unless it makes sense and adds up, don’t automatically assume they are saying what happened or the whole truth. Because they might only be saying what they want you to hear.
I know I’m a political junky and I have this pattern of using political stories to communicate broader points. But this is my last political story here. Politicians are the perfect people to be cynical about. If a white-collar politician comes to your state, hell let’s say running for President, why not and I’m not going to use a name here, a wealthy white-collar wine and cheese yuppy politician, let’s say.
This person comes to your state and let’s say your state has a lot of blue-collar workers there, lets say Pennsylvania or Ohio. And this politician stops by one of your local taverns or bowling allies in Pittsburgh, to speak to your people. And this person comes to show you his bowling skills, trying to convince you he has some.
Or the white-collar limo owning and riding politician drinks beer to show you he likes beer, but generally doesn’t do these things, don’t automatically assume this politician is like you. But instead wants you to believe he is, to get you to vote for him. He wants your vote not to be friends.
The more you take things as they are and not just what you want them to be, the better you’ll be off if life. And I know that sounds unromantic and perhaps nonreligious, but what do you expect from an Agnostic anyway. Because you’ll always know or at least most of them depending on how intelligent you are, who is with you and who wants you to believe they are with you in order to get something out of you.