discerning vs. cynical...with a bit of Beyonce for good measure

The difference between wide awake and half asleep is the willingness to question. Everything.

Examine all that you have been told and your very flesh shall become a great poem.
— Walt Whitman
Live the questions themselves. Live them now.
— Rilke

Before you choose it, buy it, take it, believe it, repeat it…
question it.

But more important than the questions, is
the intention behind the questions.

Herein lies the difference between discernment and cynicism.

All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism. It’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
— Conan O’Brien on his final show.

I’m with Conan. In my line of work, as a professional wake-up caller, if I become cynical, I’m good as…half asleep.

discerning: raises her eyebrow…to let in more information and light.
cynical: squints.

discerning: seeks.
cynical: hunts.

discerning: loves the thrill of making up his own mind.
cynical: has already made up his mind.

discerning: delineates.
cynical: damns.

discerning: wants to know better so she can do better.
cynical: wants to feel better, even if it makes you feel worse.

discerning: leaves space for your thing, my thing, and their thing.
cynical: acts like you’re entitled to like your thing, but secretly feels that your thing is inferior to his thing.

discerning: takes a stand for what’s personally true.
cynical: defaults to mockery.

discerning: can opt for dignity, good manners, and cordiality, but will blow the roof off the muthah, if need be.
cynical: likes to break things for the sake of it.

discerning: accommodates possibilities, and sometimes, the benefit of the doubt. but does not bend over. are we clear?
cynical: gets boring, real fast.

My favorite flavor of discernment–sassy, informed, and for a higher cause, from @nineteenpercent:


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