Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. -Ambrose Bierce


The second obstruction of foresight is cynicism.  


Cynicism is the result of bitterness that arises from a disappointment or injury that sours the spirit.  Sitting in the bleachers of life, sneering at possibility and convinced that the game is rigged, the cynic has allowed that which he or she despises–the status quo–to claim them.


The status quo is a state of stasis where there is neither motion nor development and where there is no hope of change.  The cynic's world view takes this distinction one step further. He or she is convinced that the self-interest of others is the driving force of society...and that it is a permanent condition.


When the spirit has been immersed in a sewer of disappointment and misanthropy, the possibility for positive change is drowned like an unwanted child. Blinded by anger and resentment, the cynic takes refuge in sarcasm, the comedy of the defeated spirit. 


There is a secret that Visionmakers know about those who have turned their eyes to cynicism.  Behind the mask of the cynic is an idealist who has been hurt, still cares deeply, but has lost faith. 


The antidote to cynicism is love. This is the transformation point for every cynic-to return to life's embrace through the arms of love.  


With our eyes turned to all that we love–people, places, activities and things–we begin to throw off the poisons that have sickened our spirit. Ralph Waldo Emerson offers a deep insight into the restorative power of love, a power that heals vision:


"Love would put a new face on this weary old world in which we dwell as pagans and enemies too long."



Love renews our vision and belief that the world is a mysterious place of adventure and opportunity, that other people are intrinsically good, and that there is much to be joyous and hopeful about.


Yes, there are problems and challenges.  


Yes, there are some people that have lost their way and prey on others.


Suffering is a condition that continues as our companion.


Love recognizes all of that yet retains the power to renew our belief that possibilities for change are not only available but also doable. 


A Visionmaker is in love with life, on fire with meaning, and committed to manifesting the vision of the heart in the world. Despite disappointment and difficulty, the path of the heart is far more important than the bumps and bruises that occur on the journey.


Rumi, the Sufi Master, says it best:


"Oh break my heart,

Oh break it again,

So that I can learn to love

Even more!"


© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.

Posted on March 18, 2009 and filed under The Obstructions of Vision.