escapism in cynicism

There is comfort in cynicism. Assuming that someone else’s greed or self-interest is the cause of my problems allows me to deny responsibility. If it’s not my choice and there’s nothing I can do about it, then I can just resent them and not feel any regret for my own choices.

It’s an escape from having to question my own assumptions.

When a decision is being made in the community and I don’t understand it, if I assume that someone is getting their pockets lined, then I don’t have to think any further; I don’t have to empathize with anyone else; I don’t have to consider new ideas or look for information that I might be missing in order for it to make sense; I don’t have to look to see if there are flaws in my own logic or conflicts within my own expectations.

All I have to assume is that someone in power is giving unfair favours in some secret backroom deal – simple escapism from the discomforts of considering the possibility that I might actually end up agreeing with things I don’t like if I learned more about it and considered it with an open mind.

It’s easier to just think it’s someone else’s fault; it’s someone else’s greed or abuse of responsibility. It’s easier to blame someone else than to accept that I might be conflicted or simply wrong.

Unfortunately, as an open-minded, self-aware city councillor for the past 6 years, I did not allow myself that escape hatch. As a result, I learned a lot. The world looks a lot different now. My perspectives, and thus my opinions, evolved. I realized that some of the things I had wanted were actually bad for me, bad for the community. They seemed right at the time, then I learned that there were conflicts within my vision. I learned new information, had new experiences.

It’s like the classic “lower my taxes, increase my services” demand. Sometimes you have to be careful of what you ask for. There are often unintended consequences. Unrealistic expectations will only frustrate you or the people you’re demanding it from, or just set yourself up for disappointment. And then the blame-game begins a new round.

When something seems confusing or contrary to popular opinion, rather than assume the worst of the people involved, why not first ask, what do they see that I don’t? What do they know that I don’t? And, is there anything I can share that would help them understand my perspectives?

Do you really want to live in a community where people automatically assume you’re corrupt just because you disagree with them or have made a choice different than they might have?

3 Responses to “escapism in cynicism”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Visit Lisa

    I lost. I’m sorry. Truth is I didn’t try.
    Any one of these could be an interpretation:
    a) I don’t care anymore
    b) The odds were stacked against me as an independent anyways
    c) I don’t believe in myself
    d) Something sparkly caught my attention in a store window
    e) I didn’t want someone to win
    f) I wanted someone to win
    g) I wanted to waste everyone’s time
    h) I have something better to do
    i) I was abducted by aliens
    j) Its not my fault not enough people voted for me
    k) Middle finger salute
    l) I need a break
    m) I don’t know what I want anymore
    n) I got a better offer
    o) I want to try something different
    p) I’m tired of this
    q) I was talked into it
    r) I was talked out of it
    s) corruption of information made it impossible
    t) Someone said something which hurt me
    u) I’m not paid enough
    v) Its not my fault that so many people didn’t show up to vote
    w) I had a headache
    x) They would win anyways why try
    y) Not enough money for pretty signs
    z) feel free to jump in and pontificate for fun on your forum without vagueness.

  2. Matt Todd Says:

    Visit Matt Todd

    I pick E, L, P, S, and a bit of K and X.

    As for z, I will post my assumptions on why I lost the election and predictions of what to expect of the new council. But I still have other notes I want to get out of my head first.

  3. Todd Beardsley Says:

    Visit Todd Beardsley

    I would just chose A hahah.

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