Don Miller’s blog post about cynicism has gotten me thinking. . . which is never a good thing.
Can cynics be great leaders?
I often have trouble articulating my thoughts the way that I want to (which is why I almost always avoid “serious” blog posts at all costs), but here’s my attempt at trying. . . in a public space. Don’t judge me.
Let it be known that I am probably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) cynics I know.
I remember watching an episode of One Punk Under God where Jay Bakker shared about growing up in the midst of scandal (Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker), gossip, betrayal, and false leaders – all of which caused him to become a cynic.
And I thought. . . is that me?
I also grew up in “the church.” My dad has been a pastor for as long as I can remember. I was never accustomed to taking family trips (as such things were a luxury), but I do remember one camping trip we took with a group of other pastors and their kids. We sat around, a group of 2nd-generation Korean PKs (Pastor’s Kids), and took turns complaining about our dads, church, ministry, hypocrisy, etc. In a way, it was a cathartic experience. There were others like me. I am always amazed when I meet other PKs who have actually had a good church experience. Are you out there?
So I started making a list of reasons why I am cynical:
- If I don’t (or in the very least, pretend not to) care, I won’t ever feel hurt or disappointed – i.e. fear of disappointment
- It’s hard for me to believe that people can change. . . for REAL.
- It’s hard for me to give people the benefit of the doubt. My gut reaction is to look for flaws or impurities.
- I project my own insecurities on others. If I’m critical of myself in a certain area, I’ll tend to criticize others in that SAME AREA.
To sum it up, I would say that my past pains/hurts are what make me cynical, particularly those dealing with people in the church.
Sandy Brownlee, a commenter on the blog post said –
“I’ve always thought cynics are wounded idealists. Rather than letting our hurt show or cutting off an ear like Van Gogh, we hide.”
I’ll be thinking about that one for awhile.