Between Cynicism and Hope

The cynic grinds his teeth and the hopeful looks ahead. The cynic lives in a cycle of inability and the hopeful wakes up in the present to go to the future, whatever that may bring. There are days when I shift between both and there is no sense of balance. Between cynicism and hope there is a realm of many emotions that create an ocean of lively beauty and terrifying darkness.

Like everyone I sometimes find myself in a restless ocean of emotions. Currents and waves push and pull while you keep swimming to find a land again. All you can do is decide and follow through against the currents and waves as you breathe in and out. Inability is no option when that means losing against yourself and your environment.

Metaphors aside between the cynic and the hopeful the balance has shifted to the writer behind the desk. Through the years situations occurred and difficult decisions had to be made. Even when rationally I can formulate the answers as if they were written in stone the ocean of emotions is not calm. I can blame my indecisiveness and I can blame my desires from a Buddhist perspective. It does not matter.

What matters is a simple lesson I learnt: you are what you do. It does not get any simpler than that. Everything afterwards will become more complex as more details fill up the frame through which you look at yourself. That leaves me with the only things that gives me a reason to wake up and look ahead every day.

Once in while I set personal challenges for myself. They keep me sharp and motivated. My current every day challenges are simple.

  • Learn something new that is genuinely interesting.
  • Write a haiku that is worth rereading and rethinking.
  • Read a good story.

Whatever the situation these little challenges help me through all kinds of days. Between the cynic and the hopeful there is an understanding: both are alive. To be alive is one thing. To feel alive is something else completely. Even if short, the sense of minute joy lingers like the scent of blossoms on a warm spring day.


The grinding cynic

Contrasts the one full of hope

Hope enables joy