There are many definitions of cynicism, from Oscar Wilde who said, “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” to the popular definition that it’s living with great doubt and little faith.
As I’ve shared with you before, one of my systematic theology prof’s really made an impression on me with her passionate plea to be wary of how cynicism can enter your morality, ethics and faith.
Cynicism is not just a word – it’s an attitude, a predisposition of how we perceive the world and others around us. It’s like a permanent direction on a compass that ensures we’re only going one way and we don’t care where we end up – the destination is irrelevant.
Perhaps my favourite definition of cynicism comes from Charles James Cook who defined it as “accepting what is, regardless of the consequences.” (Feasting on the Word, Year A Vol1, p. 310 2010 John Knox Press)
Maybe you caught the following news headline this week:
I encourage you to read it and I think it’s commendable as an approach to bringing mental health out of the shadows of stigma where we’ve been comfortable to leave it. As far as I know, mental health is actually a course that’s taught in NS…probably at grade 9 if memory serves me correctly. Please leave a comment below if I’m mistaken!
This action is based on a statistical survey of students that found, among other things:
In the survey, the board’s first to look at the emotional health of urban youth, a majority of students said they felt nervous or anxious all of the time. Even in Grades 7 and 8, almost 60 per cent of students worried about their future “all of the time” or “sometimes,” and by high school the percentage jumped to almost 75 per cent.
While most said they were “reasonably happy,” students reported feeling tired, losing sleep, having trouble concentrating and difficulty making decisions.
About half believed they could not overcome their troubles; about one in three students felt like crying “all the time” or “sometimes.” Nearly half of high school students reported feeling lonely or down…
…roughly one in three Grade 7 and 8 students didn’t have an adult at their school they felt they could depend on; one-third said they had at least one, and the final third had more than one. At that age, about three-quarters said they enjoyed school.
In high school, almost half said they didn’t have anyone they could turn to and only 59 per cent liked school.
Ok, so why am I sharing this with you? This week, the National Post wrote a very interesting article on parenting under the headline: