Saturday, February 02, 2008

Question for you

While happily reading along in Chinese history today, I read of someone described as an "individualist, cynic..." etc.

Do individualists tend to be cynical, or do cynics tend to be individualists, or both?

I don't want anyone to get mad at me (which should prove I'm not either of those), so let me hurry to say this question doesn't imply anything negative about either cynicism or individualism. The world and indeed my own family is much richer with both traits! It just seems that those blessed with one seem blessed with the other.

What do you think?


Ma Hoyt said...

A cynic questions conventional wisdom and therefore always has to be individualistic to some degree.

They are often friends with other individualists but can be swayed by small herds running against cultural norms.

An individualist may detour from cultural norms but it is due more to personally held beliefs as opposed to just questioning everything because they enjoy being a pain.

Ergo, a cynic is always an individualist, but an individualist is not always cynical.

In addition, most men are raised to be individualists and most women are raised to play nicely with people but women eventually become cynics subsequent to years of cleaning up after others.

Unless they listen to opera...then they'll be OK.

Sharon said...

Mommy, I think you're right - "a cynic is always an individualist, but an individualist is not always cynical."

So then - the way to avoid eventually becoming a cynical woman is to not clean up after others? That sounds like a good idea. I had better start now.