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Beating Cynicism

Community Member

 A while back I made a passing remark to someone about how I try to do the right thing whenever I can and they replied with "why support [other people]? they don't do anything to support [me]!".

I really hate this attitude and more to the point, I really hate the kind of culture it inevitably breeds. I like to think of myself as being more a "part of the solution" kind of person then a "part of the problem" one. I want to be something good, the best I can be as a matter of fact.

But the trouble is, when I think about it, what the guy said is right - I can do the right thing as often as I like and the kindness will never get repaid. I no logical progression of events that I can think of do my efforts have a domino effect that result in some goodness flowing back to me. Nor will they have any significant effect in terms of turning the tide of the culture that is all about only looking out for #1, regardless of the people who sink beneath the waves because nobody could be bothered to help.

I realize how hypocritical I must seem, whining over a lack of reward for my kindness while at the same time bemoaning selfish culture and claiming to want to be a good person. But the fact of the matter is that my life is a living hell. I NEED help. I need some mercy from the universe. And the closest thing I can see to a solution is to put make an investment in good carma and hope that some of it comes back to me. I'd like to have that sincere selfless spirit of charity in my heart, but truth be told it's too mired in shadow for goodness like that to florish. The best I can do is act the part.

Logically I know that the other side of the argument is: "no good can come from taking the selfish route. Good can only come from doing the right thing, even if it's only a little good and even if that good only comes to somebody else."

But all too often the easy road just seems far too tempting. Being good is stressful, being good is expensive. Sometimes it just doesn't seem to be worth the bother.

Do any of you wrestle with this dilemma? How do you beat the cynicism?

BTW, sorry if this is the wrong board - I can't really find anywhere else that seems to suit this post.

3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi Chibam,

I totally hear and agree with you say. One of the hardest things to cope with as part of my anxiety, depressiosn etc.The whole  philsophy of do unto others as you expect them to do unto you, but it really does feel at times that is all bollocks.

And no you don't do things for others , in expectation of reward or acknowledgement, but it would be good if it came back.

I've had and continue to have trouble with why People I worked with for 9 years in what was a caring profession,who I always supported when  needed , emotionally or professionally .Then when I hit this time of physical injuries and Acute stress disorder, just slid away out of my life and were't there for me. They did all the training in mental health , supporting each other, caring for team members as I did. Could probably quote you the symptoms of burn out ,  they could walk the walk and talk the talk, but weren't and still aren't giving support.Yes, I was unsurprised by some , but devastated by those who I'd considered close friends were gone . Friends who I had always been there for when they'd had it hard.Like it's catching or something

the biggest help has been from someone who I hadn't previously known that well but we now support each other as we travel the same mental health road.

And no, like you I'm not saying it's a point scoring excercise but it is very hard not to be bitter and cynical.

Like you I'm waiting for a switch in my fortune, for things to stop happening. I saw my GP 3 days ago and we discussed how I  was making progress and to keep doing my various things to stay well,  self-care and reduce stress levels. I came out feeling positive and so did my partner, then we find out we have a major behavioural issue with my teenage daughter to deal with. Plummet back to reallity and a very shattered husband ,work out how to deal with daughter, used up what ever levels of adrenaliln/cortisol I had left. Took the next day off work because I was physically and mentally cactus. I'd only just gone back to work.

And yes I struggle to stay true to myself, my spiritual beliefs to help and nurture others, but yes it's emotionally expensive, more stress you don't need when it comes back in your face. Shattering to what is already a poor self-worth, and I to o wrestle and I don't know the answer.

Except to say that I've found a lot more loving warmth, empathy, support from total strangers on BB than  anywhere else, in the short time I've been on the forum.

Maybe one of those 'wise ones' can help us both, Chibam, even if we are both whingers.

 Take care of you ,Yarnartisan


Community Member

Hi Chibam,

Found this fabulous quote from Technogurl today and I think it answers a lot of both your and my questions about Cycnicism etc.

The sky is not the limit. Your belief system is.

So shall we make a pact not to let others limit or devalue our belief system

MY gift to you


Thanks, Yamartisan. 🙂

I could relate to some of what you describe - particularly the part about being abandoned by "friends" when I really needed them. Sadly, it's a story I've found is all too common.

Though I am glad to hear that you've found some measure of help here on BB.

And I agree with what you & technogurl say in your second post, too. It's best not to let the pessimists drag us down into their gloomy outlook. That's not to say that it's as simple as a making a conscious "yes, I'll follow them/no, I won't" decision, but it's worth making the effort to try to stay positive. The world certainly doesn't need any more gloom preachers. 🙂