cynicism vs. faith

I hear often of those that say they “found themselves” or those who have “found their purpose in life”.  And every once in a while I get caught up in the search also.  I seem to expect there to be the symbolic gold at the end of the rainbow.  The appearance of a happy person with a purpose draws me in.  It makes me want to have what they have.  It makes me think that somehow having what they have will change me.  But I have yet to find myself or any sort of single purpose to fuel me through this life.

I am ever the cynic.  And I also continue to return to that which I feel I believe in.  My “self” is basically an inner contradiction.  Faith is the opposite of cynicism; and vice versa.  Some days one wins, some days the other wins.  It would be the prime reason I confuse people.  Well, I confuse myself even.  Things that make sense to me don’t make sense to anyone else.

I had a fellow homeschool mom tell me how puzzled she is when someone makes a comment to her such as “I could never homeschool my children.  I just don’t like to be with them.”  She said her response in her head was “Why did you have children if you don’t like them?”.  I just smiled and kept quiet.  Because anything that came from my head through my mouth at that moment would be offensive to someone.

Why is it so hard for us to accept someone else’s position when it is different than our own?  I’m not talking about even understanding it, I’m just talking about accepting that it exists.  I totally accept that some parents aren’t comfortable leaving their children with a sitter.  Or some moms had kids because they grew up wanting them.  I accept that what one person believes is rude, is just plain honesty to me.  I used to believe I was misanthropic.  But I now have doubts about that.  I think people are interesting and it intrigues me to know the cause of their behavior, the reasons for their choices.  And I think it helps me to be more empathetic if I can see someone else’s point of view.  I naturally assume that most people out there are opposite of me, and that I’m the one with the problem.

I don’t hide the fact that I didn’t grow up with a longing to be a mother.  I’m very open about how hard it is for me to be around my children for long periods of time.  And I always get asked why I had children when this is the way I feel.  No response I give will ever make sense to anyone but me.  It made sense to me 20 years ago and it still makes sense to me today.  This isn’t about right or wrong.  I don’t have much idea about what that is these days, or whether my decision to accept parenthood was the right one.  But I seem to follow what makes sense to me.

I do believe people are capable of change, although I believe it doesn’t happen very often and it takes a crazy amount of work that most aren’t willing to do.  I do believe there is “still good in the world” even though I believe most people shouldn’t be trusted.  I do believe every once in a while someone might be out to help you, but I think it’s more common for someone to say what they think you want to hear regardless of the truth.

And thus, the fight continues.  Will cynicism win tomorrow? Or do you think it shall be faith?