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Cynics are lapsed idealists. They began with great expectations. Then they discover that life is not easy, that things do not go as we hoped they would. Our efforts hit obstacles. Our plans are derailed. We do not receive the recognition or honour we think we deserve. So we retreat into ourselves. We blame others for our failures, and we focus on the failings of others. We tell ourselves we could have done better. –Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
When we don’t get our way, especially when we think our goals are righteous and honorable, we can feel betrayed. In a sense, our being born on this earth entitles us to dreams transformed into reality, and ideals actualized in our day-to-day life.
Anyone can be victim to this mentality, and the assumptions and conclusions that ensue. But I believe that people who mature, who learn the difficult lessons of life, realize that we can experience both blessings and disappointments. We can learn from our disappointments to ascertain our limitations, errors, or roadblocks. And then we can decide on the other efforts we can pursue to make our own lives, or the lives of others, happier and richer.
I’ve been contemplating how this quotation may be a very insightful way to describe the political Left. Aren’t they often disappointed by reality? Don’t they feel helpless in the face of difficulties and roadblocks? And instead of figuring out a creative and productive way to meet their goals, they get stuck in blaming others for their losses. They also double down on their idealism, trying harder than before: if they only call out those who try to stop them; if they only steal what they need to be successful; if they only destroy others who don’t share their dreams and goals—they will fulfill their ideals. I think underneath their hopes is a tragic cynicism that feeds their demands and needs. And they just push harder.
What a depraved way to live one’s life.
[photo by Anh Nguyen on unsplash.com]Published in