Essay

April 05, 2018

April 05, 2018 @ 06:03 PM

Ready Reckoner

A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be

John Lennon’s classical lines, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” celebrates the people who see things as they ought to be rather than as they are. An exception to this are cynics, people who are characterized by a general distrust of others' integrity and motives, believing that humans are selfish by nature. Such people lack vision and perspective and are always reluctant to believe in the possibility of a better tomorrow and a better world. 

Human society is not perfect but it would be fair to say that most human beings long to live in a utopia. They want to live in a world where everything is perfect and hence, are more than willing to look at the positive side of things. While the optimists and visionaries believe that things can be changed for the better and dream of a better future, the cynics remain untouched by this idea. For them, things will remain as they are and they will not entertain the idea that things should be as they ought to be.

The world scenario remains grim mostly, with increasing threat from terrorism and extremism, hostility between countries (for example, North Korea and South Korea and Israel and Palestine), difficult economic conditions and so on. In such times, the world can do without cynics who are resigned to the way things are presently and are suspicious of newer possibilities. They lack vision and have a uni-dimensional way of looking at things. The feel secure in the drudgery of their present state.

History is replete with examples such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and others who have changed the course of world history with their vision and actions. They, unlike the cynics, refused to accept the things as they were and, instead, chose to look at the great potential that lay ahead of them and their countries.

All it takes to bring about a change is a change in perspective. Rather than accepting things as they are as cynics do, if we change our perspective and instead focus on the positive side of things, the world will be a better place. The world needs visionaries who can look at things as they ought to be not as they are.

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