One Man – One View

January 12, 2009

Confessions of a Recovering Cynic

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 4:30 PM


I imagine myself standing up at a meeting with people that I don’t know and giving my name and saying that I am a cynic and I have been one hour and six minutes without a shot of cynicism. The room fails to applaud my achievement because they are, of course, distrustful of my claim. Welcome to my first meeting with the group Cynics Anonymous!

I am in fact a dreadful cynic and I am desperately trying to recover. I don’t believe that we are predisposed to such a fate but rather it is the result of our overall life experience. The worst sufferers of this malady are those such as myself who have been in law enforcement. For sixteen years everyone lied to me, (note the word everyone being an illustration of the severity of my case). Officer I swear I wasn’t speeding, I didn’t steal that, I don’t have drugs on me, I only had one beer… the list is endless. Worse yet cynicism helps to keep cops alive. If you don’t trust anyone then you are likely to be much more alert for potential harm to be inflicted upon you.

Life based cynicism isn’t unique to cops as everyone is lied to or taken advantage of to some degree. How about landlords regarding rent checks? Constituents believing politicians? Employees trusting employers? Employers trusting employees? This list is endless but no doubt we have all been lied to and we have all been hurt.

The question that I pose to you and which I myself face is how healthy is cynicism in both a physical and psychological sense?

I for one have spent my post law enforcement years trying to be more trusting. I try to see good in people and I try to believe them and what they have to say. For me it is an ongoing struggle in which I often fail miserably.

An example:

One of my earlier posts to this blog is called “A Homeless Man and a Fallen Bird”. Last night someone named Naser added a comment to that post. In that comment Naser relates that he is homeless and hungry. He states that that post brought him some level of comfort and inspired him to focus on helping others who were worse off than he was.

I was immediately touched by his comment but within fifteen seconds I had already turned to my wife and said “I wonder if this is some kind of scam?” Again- my life experience was interfering with that which should be pure compassion. I posted a reply back to Naser and offered suggestions to better his plight and he posted back a response that brought me back to the compassionate side of the tracks. I would encourage you to scroll down and read that post and the associated comments. My sense is that Naser is truly suffering. That Naser, beyond anything needs to pray to God for deliverance from his circumstance. I also believe that Naser needs the prayers of others- both me and you as well so that he may better his circumstance. Who am I to stand in judgment of a man I have never met and who has asked of me nothing but words.

“Hello- my name is Chet and I have now been one hour and twenty minutes without a shot of cynicism.”

I am still met with deafening silence….



  1. A long time ago, in a little town in Italy, my grandmother told me to never trust anyone! I was shocked! How could she tell me this? What kind of advice was this? Well, I just remember my grandmother when someone is in the wrong, not me. I realize everyone has got to do what they got to do to survive, but so do I. I count too. I do what I can for who I can when I can…and when I can’t…I can’t. Nice blog. Thanks for your comments on my blog.

    Comment by Doraz — January 13, 2009 @ 10:46 AM | Reply

  2. Chet,

    This is only my second time reading your blog, and again, as I felt the first time, you have an art for writing!
    I love how the words just flow, and it certainly keeps my interest!!!!
    Definitely an interesting topic and a true challange for all of us, as we all harbor some degree of cynicism, whether we choose to admit or not!!!!!
    Keep them coming, I am getting hooked!


    Comment by linda — January 12, 2009 @ 11:59 PM | Reply

  3. Chet, a enjoyed looking around your blog and reading your posts. I especially enjoyed this post and I may need to join your new group!

    Thanks for posting a comment on my blog earlier. Blessings to your day!

    Comment by Gary Spear — January 12, 2009 @ 9:56 PM | Reply

  4. This is definitely something we all need help with. Excellent blog! Love and miss you and can’t wait to read more. 🙂
    – Your favorite neice

    Comment by Kristin — January 12, 2009 @ 5:11 PM | Reply

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