Sunday 15 September 2013

The antidote to cynicism

On Friday I was driving to Perth to attend the annual Synod meeting. Usually, I zone out a bit in the car listening to a CD I haven't heard in a while. I had left in a bit of a hurry, however, and forgot to grab some new music to keep me occupied. Instead, I found myself listening to talk back radio.

As I was nearing Perth a segment came on that looks at the issues around the world and locally and a couple of guests chat with the host about their thoughts on the subject. This particular morning they had an extra guest phoning in from the eastern states - Billy Bragg. I must say I did not know much about this artist, only that my husband has at least one of his CD's on our shelf.

He was fascinating to listen to. At one point the host brought up the fact that in a previous interview he had commented that our greatest enemy was cynicism. I found this conclusion fascinating. I have found, from experience, that cynicism is contagious. If I hang around people who are negative and distrusting it begins to rub off on me and my optimistic, hopeful self retreats under the table. This is, of course, alive and well in the church. 

But, Billy Bragg then announced that he had an antidote for cynicism. My ears pricked up! Activism is the cure! How is it that during growth points in our life everything and everyone seems to be speaking straight to us? Did Billy Bragg eavesdrop in on one of my conversations?

What is the point sitting around whinging about what is going on? Get involved and make a difference. (My hopeful self peers out from under the table and has a look around.) It sounds so obvious, but with a heightened awareness I am surprised at how the epidemic of cynicism can take over. Like anything, it is easy to talk about, but harder to put into practice. 

For me, this weekend, it has played out in getting more involved in the church. I don't know where this will lead or what my role may be, but I am no longer a prisoner to cynicism as I hold on to hope with a firm grasp. 

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