Why So Cynical?

Maybe it is the weather, the sludge of political campaigns, or the malaise that has settled over America.  There is not a perky, lilting bone in my body.  But there is a definite ray of hope coming from an eastward direction.

Now, back to my present cynical attitude.

A couple of definitions:

“Doubtful as to whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.”

“Believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.”

 

This about sums it up.

Quoting from the playbook on cynical behavior.  “Maybe you do not look for the loose thread that will unravel the plan, but it’s on your mind.  You are hesitant. Your steps are slow and measured. Plan B keeps pushing against Plan A.”

The year 2020 is more than a dumpster fire.  Take a look at the Western United States, it is an inferno. 

  • Nearly 200,000 people have died from the Coronavirus. 
  • 40 million Americans face eviction
  • 29 million do not have enough food
  • 54 million are now unemployed
  • 20 million have had their wages cut this year
  • 12 million additional Americans are now without healthcare

But everything is fine, the stock market is rebounding.  Is that the barometer of the quality of life in America?  The highest earning 20 percent of Americans made half of all U.S. income in 2018.

ft_2020.02.07_inequality_06

The wealth gap is widening. If reelected, Trump wants to end the payroll tax, which means Social Security is dead. If you are on one of the plans for retirement, disability, survivors or supplemental income, or you are counting on it in the future and have paid into it during your lifetime, you are hosed.

I mentioned the western part of the country being on fire, what part has climate changed played in the conditions making for this disaster? Lack of rain. How do winds, intense head and other factors spread these deadly fires?

In California, more than 2.5 million acres have burned, 20 times more than last year, and in some of the same areas as the 2018 Camp Fire disaster. In Oregon, there are more than 35 wildfires, completely destroying some communities, as is the case in Washington. Fires are also raging in other Western states.

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The Post Office. A Senate report found that “delivery delays of 18-32%, meaning deliveries that would normally take 1-2 days would instead take 3-4 days.” Delays in prescriptions and medical supplies put Americans at risk. The Postmaster has removed mailboxes, trashed new sorting machines, reduced staffing and says he is fixing a problem. This is the guy who owns millions in competing delivery businesses, and who allegedly forced his employees to make political contributions, then provided them bonuses. Does this sound illegal?

The list goes on, but you get the idea. The daily river of bad news flows to the point that people stop watching and listening, out of defense of their sanity. We turn away; I do.

When you wake up in the morning, your compass points you in the direction of your values, and like a level orients your attitude like the bubble in the clear tube.

Hey, there are great things out there, why are you ignoring the good stuff?  Sure, there are wonderful things, human drama and goodness that have to fight for attention and get swept away by the vitriol and false information. No wonder smiles turn upside down.

To be cynical is to carry an attitude that paints life with the same broad brush strokes. A skeptic is less general and tends to look at reason and information.  A skeptic’s view might not be so hardened and open to be influenced.  A cynic is strategic, a skeptic has a more tactical view. 

According to a 2014 study, cynical people have a higher risk of dementia. Insert your own joke. Cynicism also brings a greater risk of strokes and heart disease.

What do those Scandinavian countries have that puts them at the top of the list, year after year?

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The six rating factors of life satisfaction: income, health life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.  Fins make less money and pay more taxes but seen to appreciate the services and programs they pay for.

One might say the American Dream is alive in Finland.

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Those damn socialist countries where you are guaranteed healthcare and education.  One Finland resident interviewed said the difference between Fins and Americans is the feeling about government being there to help you, verses having to be protected from it. Fins believe their government is there to serve and work for them.

I shall close by eyes and look to the east, meditate and then slip back to reality.


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