Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Imperfectly perfect

This blog is dedicated to all the cynics around or at least people who are considered to be one...

A few days ago, somebody who knows me for long called me a 'cynic'. Now a cynic is not something which you would like to be called! Words are just a matter of interpretation and each one could do it in his or her own way. A cynic has many meanings which an Oxford dictionary will tell you, like a cynic is a pessimist, a negative thinker, a person one who smells flowers looks around for coffins, a person who looks at the dark side of everything. Now I have never fancied myself one and so I decided to do a small research on it. Post that I feel its not that bad after all and thought it should be up on my blog...

Cynicism was a philosophical school of thought which believed that the purpose of life was to live a life of virtue in agreement with nature. They were against all conventional desires for wealth, power, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society.

Now thats quite a thought isn't it? There is more to this way of life...

The word Cynic came from the Greek word 'kynikos' which meant 'dog like'. This apparently is because of their indifference to their way of life. Like dogs, they eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. And yet another reason is that the dog is a good guard and the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. The Cynics were considered the watch dogs of the society. Very interesting to note that Jesus Christ was considered a Cynic by his contemporaries and by some historians later on.

Like any other school of thought Cynicism was also built on a couple of values. They are:

The goal of life is happiness which is to live in agreement with Nature.
Happiness depends on being self-sufficient, and a master of mental attitude.
Self-sufficiency is achieved by living a life of Virtue.
The road to virtue is to free oneself from any influence such as wealth, fame, or power, which have no value in Nature.
Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.

I think the word cynic has been misinterpreted a lot. If this is what the philosophy of Cynicism is, then there is clearly a mismatch about how it is perceived now.Everybody loves imperfections or at least think imperfection-ism is cool. Then I guess we all should be in love with Cynicism...Its just so imperfectly perfect

I am secretly glad about being a cynic if people mean it this way ;-)


  1. let them call me what not, but all i want to do is sleep at night with a full smile strewn across my face.
    call me black, call me blue, call me bad, call me mad... its fuck you, as long as i have a happy sleep on a fucking tiring day!

  2. "Call me whatever you like, but I am what I must be" - Nietzsche

  3. Nice. u have to put your own twist on things...its not so bad to be called a cynic in today's sense either...SOMETIMES!

  4. @ Jyotsna: Its all how you interpret things...

  5. Ahem... I notice you haven't thanked the person who inspired this post. Ahem ahem.. (just clearing my throat nonchalantly).

  6. @ Spaceman: Just a sec
    @ All: The person who called me a cynic is none other that Ms Divya, who has been my friend for long now...