I dislike receiving forwarded feel-good SMS “quotes”. Some people are naturally optimistic in the same way saccharin is kind of sweet. Sometimes, I sincerely envy their level of optimism.
Of course, cynicism is not an excuse to not care about anything anymore. What you’re doing might be a thankless job, but it could be the pride of doing the job well that keeps you going. Even if no one else is watching you, you are still watching yourself.
And then I came across this:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
- People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
- If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
- If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
- The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
- Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
- The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
- People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
- What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
- People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
Nice, no? There are some items I have some issues with, but I like the overall idea of the list. So long as it does not feed into someone’s messiah complex.
Come to think of it, Jesus could be seen as a rather cynical bastard himself. That characterization fits him better than that of a mild-mannered, genteel, peace-loving hippie.