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Overcoming Cynicism: A Path to Compassion

Overcoming Cynicism: A Path to Compassion

We are taught that cynicism is fashionable and that harsh judgments are better than soft ones.

This is an illusion since our view is limited and perfection is unattainable in our world.

Harsh and unfair criticisms have always put me off, since who is anyone to believe they have a corner on the absolute truth of something? In a flawed world, we are flawed people with flawed understanding. Judging flaws harshly will not solve the flaw.

When younger, I was subjected to some very strict guidelines about things. I and everyone I knew was subjected to very harsh criticism from time to time, including being criticized for things I had no ability to control. The problem with harsh criticism is that even if it seems warranted, the brutality of the harsh treatment negates any possible good that could come out of such a confrontation.

Anyway, I was reminded of something I once read about this:

"Protect me from the cynical mind
That scoffs at Truth and Beauty
And makes of no account
Those things which are of good report."

It is as easy to be kind as to be harsh. It is as easy to be diplomatic as it is to be blunt. It is as easy to focus on the greater good as it is to find minor flaws. It is as easy to be well-rounded as it is to be one-sided. It is as easy to take a large view as a small one.

I found when younger that it’s better to suspend judgment until we get a grasp of the bigger picture. It’s certainly better to gather as much information as we need before deciding something is or isn’t a certain way.

Too many take a one-sided approach in viewing and interpreting things. Often because of our conditioning we see only that which we believe is wrong and forget to appreciate what is good, true, and beautiful. Too often we humans are attached to seeing the negative judgments of our minds rather than bless “those things which are of good report."

Unfortunately, the tendency to see the negative in things and come to harsh criticism is fostered by the network news, which in turn creates a collective negative view. Certainly our polarized political system fosters the tensions which pit one against another rather than create a view of a greater cooperative good. No good comes of condemning one view while turning a blind eye to the inconsistencies and flaws of another. And unfortunately, due to a hardened cynicism, many scoff at truth and beauty while not acknowledging that there are "things of good report."

We humans certainly do this when judging our own aspirations against our apparent failures. Too often we focus on our perceived failures and flaws while not giving equal considerations to what we have accomplished, done right, done well, or improved on. In that sense, we cannot make the unattained “perfect” into the enemy of the attained “good.” We have to accept that if we’ve done our best, neither we nor anyone else has the right to criticize us, whether we achieved some perceived ideal or not.

Anyway, the next time you realize that you’re judging yourself harshly, or being judged by another harshly, remember that “it ain’t necessarily so.” When my own analytical mind used to go into critical mode, I learned to detach and not take any of it personally, since there are many ways to view any given thing in our lives or on this Earth. It does no good to tolerate unfair judgments, whether from another or ourselves.

Ultimately, our mind works through sequence and selection and comparing this to that. We cannot avoid making judgments, since we have to be able to discern what to do and when to do it. What we have to do is find a way to be reasonable and just in our judgments, and always keep a view that there are other ways to understand anything. And it helps to remember that even though some things are not likeable, nothing should be able to pull us into a non-loving state.


Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected. 

© Copyright 2024 Robert Wilkinson

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© Copyright 2024 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com

About the author:

Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
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