The Abandonment of Cynicism

“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind; but then I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves—something no hero will ever defeat. Now I know, that only love can truly save the world. So I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be.” – Wonder Woman (the movie), played by Gal Gadot, 2017

During these final days of what has been, at the very least, the worst year so far in the 21st century, it is easy to feel cynical about the future of America and the future of humanity. Indeed it may seem that cynicism is the only rational choice. But cynicism, even in times much worse than what we are living through today, is a poor choice.

Underlying the polarization in America today is an epidemic of cynicism. Across the fragmented cultural landscape, every faction perceives the other as motivated by self-interest, or stupidity, or hatred. But as actress Gal Gadot vowed in the underrated conclusion to her 2017 movie Wonder Woman, “I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them there will always be both.”

Referencing a comic book superhero for wisdom that might counteract cynicism may seem unforgivably shallow, but that’s the point. It is impossible to argue against cynicism with reason […] Read More