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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #61 --- Cynicism

Updated on May 15, 2011

Quotations on Cynicism

There is a lot of difference between a critic and a cynic, but a destructive critic is destined to degenerate into a carping cynic, and will sow discontent, discord and doubt wherever he goes. The words "cynic" and "dog" came from the same Greek word. ... The cynic, like a dog, snarls, sneers and snaps at everything in sight. He poses as an iconoclast and pretends to battle against shame, but in reality, he himself is a sham and will assassinate the character of a saint who stands in the way of the realization of his selfish plans. His conduct is dictated by a false and dangerous philosophy. He assumes that he pulls others down in order to make room for his own promotion. The cynic is a destructionist in any realm, but in the realm of religion, he is more dangerous because there is more involved.

—David M. Gardner, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, May 20, 1948.

The more or less cynical individual is no more dull nor no more smart than the rest of mankind.

Neither is he more experienced than his fellows. He is not any more the victim of cruel circumstances. Yet he may feel that he is all of these.

The cynically inclined may be, and usually is, just as smart and just as dull as any of us. He may be just as experienced. He may be both as fortunate and as unfortunate as any.

All these qualities and conditions have relatively no bearing upon cynicism. We are all cynical at times. Habitual cynicism upon any or all subjects is the result of a lack of mental resiliency that is necessary for mental and spiritual growth.

The cynic is like a sharp pointed dart that life has flung at a wall. It pierces the surface and sticks to that one spot tenaciously or fails to pierce it and falls to lie ineffectively at its base.

Tipped with just the right amount of live rubber it would have struck the impossible wall and gracefully rebounded to the hands of life ready for further usefulness.

Just the right amount of live rubber! Not too much, for then it would have bounded giddily out of control from the force of even a slight impact.

Daily experience throws every man betimes against the wall of impossible, unalterable reality. To all intelligent people that wall is conceived to be of the same substance, the same hardiness. To all it is equally unalterable. It represents the certainty of death, the darkness of night, the heat of noon, the yearning for past happiness, the sense of incapacity, the surety of disappointed wishes and desires.

From it intelligent men may rebound to opportunity for renewed healthy minded service, or by it they may fall to let their whole consciousness be filled with so keen a sense of its hardness that the great freedom away from it is never half conceived.

By it the cynic stands to beat it with a hand already sore from the initial encounter.

From it the wise man walks wisely, away to smile–if awkwardness threw him against it–or just to seek to be happy among the more agreeable and just as real, realities.

For “life is full of a number of things.”

—Vernald William Johns, Garland Times, Garland, Utah, March 6, 1930.

We get our philosophy from our conduct. When we have been low and mean, we are cynical, not believing in others or the goodness of others. Those whose action is decent and orderly usually think decent and orderly thoughts. They are not cynical; they have faith; they believe in the honesty of their fellows.

When you find a man stating his belief about folks and human acts in terms of defense for what he ought to know is all wrong, you may be pretty sure he has been doing something that he is a bit ashamed of.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., May 28, 1931.

Cynicism is a scorpion which at the end dies by stinging itself.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, November 1943.

When men grow cynical it may be because they know themselves too well.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 17, 1937.

There is no time when cynicism is a hopeful state of mind.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 30, 1937.

The cynic is one who hopes for the worst in spite of the best.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., July 2, 1941.

If you cultivate a sense of cynicism nothing beautiful will survive.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 9, 1941.

The salt water of your cynicism is sorry stuff for a thirsty world.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 29, 1905.

The cynic is one who has found stolen fruits not so sweet.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 8, 1908.

Cynicism is a pain due to attempting to eat all life's fruits too early in the season.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., July 25, 1909.

A cynic is a fellow who would rather sting than sing.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 7, 1928.

The sermonizing of the man who feels exceedingly nice about his own niceness, is about as pleasant and effective as a cynic’s grin.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 6, 1928.

The creed of a cynic: If you can’t growl, whine.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 17, 1928.

A cynic is a fellow who thinks none of the milk of human kindness is certified.

—Jack Haney, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., April 26, 1925.

A cynic is a person who tries to make the world a bitter place to live.

Chicago Heights Star, Chicago Heights, Ill., July 8, 1958.

The cynic is a person with either a sour disposition or a long memory.

Chicago Heights Star, Chicago Heights, Ill., Nov. 11, 1958.

A cynic is a person who discovers mean things about himself and then says them about the rest of us.

Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., Feb. 25, 1925.

Cynicism is often only the disguise of a fool.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 14, 1907.

A cynic is a man who tries to make people think he isn't ashamed of not amounting to anything.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 20, 1909.

Sometimes a smart man becomes so cynical he doesn't believe in anything except his own exceptions.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 1, 1925.

A cynic is a man whose disappointment is due to the fact that the world was made without his advice.

Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Dec. 8, 1917.

A cynic is a person who says hateful things because he is unable to attract attention any other way.

Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, July 28, 1918.

Cynic: A person who speaks from a coldly logical mind instead of a warmly human heart.

Preston Citizen, Preston, Idaho, July 17, 1947.

The cynic remarks that it's always pleasant to be told the truth–about other people.

Youth's Companion, Boston, Mass., Feb. 19, 1891.


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