"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1. A person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.

1. Somebody who believes that human actions are insincere and motivated by self-interest

On a blog I was reading, the gal was asking herself if she was a skeptic or a cynic. Her definition of cynic was a little longer, but the same jest. Actually, the thesaurus lists skeptic as a synonym for cynic. HMM.
I guarantee I am a skeptic. Too many people talk about things in future terms. “There is a…” No, right now there isn’t-but one day there will be. Please don’t feed me half truths or your expectations. Tell me what it is RIGHT NOW. Because I guarantee when I see what you are toting, I will be asking myself lots of questions about it. Better you tell me then I have to look and come up with my own conclusions. In no way do I view being a skeptic as negative-it is often that skepticism that has fueled the questions that need to be answered to make something work in a better way.
I’ve called myself cynical as well, but now I am not sure that I had the right definition. Well yes, I am cynical about certain people, based on their past actions. Overall, I guess I am not cynical about people in general. For most people I don’t think it is their own self interest-they want to help, want to serve, etc. We have just seen a side of what it looks like when it is uninformed, misguided, or misdirected (often in the cultural realm). Meaning? Meaning offering a “help” that ends up potentially harming rather than helping, because you do not understanding the culture of the part of the world where you are going to. A simple example-when the daily wage is $2-3 and you give someone $50, you think you are feeding them for a few weeks. But to someone who has never had that much money and doesn’t understand saving for a “rainy day”, they will often go out and waste the money on whatever (alcohol? new furniture?) just because they now can. Better to give $5 to 10 people. But most people wouldn’t think that way, because they often don’t know that kind of information about the culture they are going to.
Maybe that just sounds horrible. We just think there has to be a balance of helping-without hindering or causing a sense of entitlement to people around the world who now expect the West to help them with everything. Instead we provide for them-and in the process we rob others of the joy of doing what they are suppose to be doing. Which then fuels our (in the West) cynicism towards other people groups and countries. They are just trying to survive, and they’ve found the easy way-let someone else do it for them.
Anyway, I know I will continue to be skeptical. But for the most part, I am not cynical. I know people’s hearts are more often than not in the right place.

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