I’m tired of all the cynicism floating around. Why do people so often feel the need to seem intellectually superior through the use of cynicism. Most often, I find the argument lacking in imagination or any intelligence at all.
My most recent example would be the attact on the current Australian Government’s announcement that they would be trialling a program where engaged couples are given $200 towards pre-marriage sessions. Being in the pre-marriage education sector, I am all for this! I think it is a great idea, and will put a lot of couples I see in a better mood upon arriving in my class, having been given a subsidy to be there (we get lots of complaints about the cost of the course… which in my opinion is not very much considering how much we pay to get a university education for a career that may only last 30-40 years. Marriage lasts a lifetime if its done right! But I digress)
I can understand those who would be against it. They don’t like the current government, and hold dear that dislike. They grasp onto a well liked Bloggers article about it, which is basically a misinformed rant about what a waste of money it is, and how the money could be used elsewhere. Well sure. Most government money could be used elsewhere. Lets just be grateful its not going into the pockets of big business.
Cynics love to feel superior. Its the “lets be critical of this, to show people that we think laterally, and don’t just accept the status-quo like non-thinking folk.” It doesn’t really sit well with me. I’m sure I have done it at times, but for the most part, I like to think that I can see both sides of the story, ponder my current position and make a more informed opinion. I am not just cynical simply because I am always cynical.
Let me explain. I’m not a fan of the new Australian Government. The Prime Minister leaves me with an uneasy feeling that I only ever get when I’m around creeps and weirdos. My gut is right 9 times out of 10, and so I’m banking on him being a pretty bad sort according to my standards. Also, I have publicly berated the policies, positions and statements of this government, considering them extreme, un-compassionate, and more suited to benefit big business. However this particular policy, I cannot be so quick to judge. After all, it is a trial, therefore it may not continue, which would be a shame. The research would suggest that pre-marriage education not only increases relationship satisfaction, but also leads to lower divorce rates. This is not only good for the couple, but better for society. I’m not saying divorce will be given up on altogether, but rates will be lowered. Considering the staggeringly high rates at the moment, and the detirmental effect it is having on society and families, then any attempt by any government must be applauded. The measerly $200 will actually pay for most of a course run by the organisation I work for.
So lets be cynical of cynics. Lets not just agree with the first cynic we hear because it makes us feel more informed. Instead of getting our information from a rant, read about the whole policy or position from a neutral position and consider the implications yourself. If you still come to a cynical position, then so be it. At least you came to that point yourself and not because someone told you to be so. If you find you actually agree with the policy, then great! Consider you own view on why you like it. If someone has an argument against it, consider that argument and whether yours is a stronger or weaker position. Poke holes in any argument with your own logic. If it starts to leak, you know it was based on nothing but pure cynicism.