Cynical Naïvete


Photo courtesy of Jerome Loving,

I am terminally naïve, in a cynical sort of way.

I believe that if someone is nice to my face, they will be so behind my back.  I believe that if I am kind and genuine to others, that they will return the favor. And, I trust in the abundance of the universe to protect me from the rest.

I recognize that this makes me seem incredibly naïve.

I can also spot inconsistencies in someone’s story in a second and a half. I’ve been all over the world and met with people of every culture and learned that in everyone is a liar and saint – and rather than tear myself up over which is which, I strike at the average and look to the intentions behind the information shared.

In the telling of any story,  there are some people who like to embellish the truth, adjust the retelling of facts to suit the reputation they’re trying to build, or who play loosely with the details in pursuit of a cadence.

This leaves me in a strange limbo.  I discount everything anyone says a little, taking into account hubris, humility, posturing, and self-defense and don’t hold the gap against them … I recognize that my generosity could be wrong, and in honesty I don’t much care, so long as I find their stories entertaining and their presence in my life useful.

But, when someone’s “truth” is turned malicious and directed to intentionally harm, my generosity ends.

Mark Twain said, An injurious truth has no merit over an injurious lie. Neither should ever be uttered.”  

I agree with that principle.  So, while I could share injurious truths about those who are gossiping about me, to attempt to discredit their lies, those damaging truths will only lessen me.  Instead, I’ll take it on the chin. Keep my head down, and follow the words of Mark Zuckerberg: stay focused and keep shipping.

And, I’ll trust in the abundance of the universe to handle the rest.

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