Week 2 - Cynicism

Tom Harding

“Know what’s weird? Day by day nothing seems to change, but pretty soon everything’s different.”

- Bill Waterson (Creator of Calvin and Hobbes)


Tigger and Eeyore


An inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism.


Lack of hope for the future based on perceived failures of the past.



  • Idealism
  • Realism
  • Cynicism


Am I being cynical or hopeful?



“In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.”

- Sigmund Freud


“As you grow older, you become more of who you already are. It’s like there is this war inside you that’s battling for hope and cynicism will win, or it will lose.”

- Carey Nieuwhof (Nuehoff)


“. . . the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain't in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. . . Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but. . . I won't believe that. I still say it's in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it's got to come down some ... But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know ... and then it flies away.”

- Bob Dylan



Ecclesiastes 1:2–11

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.


The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. . .Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.


History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually, it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.



Awe - A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. 


Anything that hits deep within your soul confirming you have a Creator.





Discipline for your desired destination.



Romans 1:20

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.


“God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and with the aid of the sun, to turn the water into a juice which will ferment and take on certain qualities. Thus, every year, from Noah’s time ‘til ours, God turns water in wine.”

- C.S. Lewis





Colossians 3:17,23

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. . . Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.


“Play is an expression of God’s presence in the world. . . play is not an escape; it is the way to release the life-smothering grip of busyness, stress and anxiety. Playfulness is a modern expression of hope, a celebration of the flickering light of the gospel that plays in the dark . . .”

- Mike Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder


Ecclesiastes 3:11

 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.


The Christian says, Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist . . . If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. 


If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise or to be unthankful for these earthly blessings and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo or mirage.


I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death, I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside. I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others do the same.

- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity



Ecclesiastes 12:13

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.