“Is the defining characteristic of my generation stupidity or cynicism?”
I may or may not have been reading youtube comments when that thought found me. Of course, it’s dreadfully cynical* (judgmental, shortsighted, ironic, whatever) of my brain to only present those two options. Shameful, brain, shameful.
I really don’t believe that we’re all stupid and/or cynical and if we are, we’re not stupid and/or cynical all the time. I have mostly smart, hopeful days and I’m sure you do as well.
But when I find myself in critical cynic mode, I need to snap out of it. It’s a cop-out. Absolutely no way to live.
If something is good, I ought to enjoy it and speak well of it. Say why.
If something is wrong, malicious, oppressive, harmful, or sinful, I want to be brave enough to stand up against it. Speak truth and justice with love. Say why.
If I see something and think, “poorly done,” or “why on earth do people like that?” or “eh, kind of dumb,” then I should HAPPILY DO SOMETHING AWESOME AND SHOW THE WORLD A BETTER WAY…
or I should just shut up.
Because, in the end, if I have spent all my time pulling bricks out of other people’s walls and chipping at shoddy paint jobs and marking things up with big red X’s, I will have done nothing at all. Maybe worse than nothing.
*I’m using the following definition of cynical: bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.