I was speaking recently with someone much more learned and wise than I, and I confided that I have doubts that I will live to see a day when the current money-dominated political system will be reformed.
"That cynicism of which you speak - that is an admission of defeat," he chided me. "Those who control the political system want you to think that way, because then you'll give up."
My mentor nailed it, as usual. He's one of those quiet people who will surprise you by uttering something brilliant at a time when you were convinced he was tuning out.
My cynicism gets in the way of my writing, because I begin to think that the words I scribble for a blog, newspaper, or journal are pointless. "Why write?" I begin to ask myself. "Almost no one reads this material, and few people really seem to care anymore. Most people just want to be entertained in front of the television, and they do what the political marketers tell them."
I know, of course, that this negativism leads me to write even less for the general public, and causes me to retreat to the quiet world of academic research, where I can try to make sense of the past and not have to worry about the modern world.
It's much safer to write for a narrow group of academicians than it is to write for the general public, because average readers are not shy about pointing out bullshit when they see it.
You are forced to be relevant - or you are doomed to obscurity - when writing for a general audience, because most people read for a purpose, be it inspiration, edification, or commiseration. Failure to meet those expectations means that a writer will soon be writing to an audience of one.
And that one person is not his mom.
Thus, I vow to shake the cynicism that has infected my outlook and thought processes, and get back to the business of solving the world's problems, or at the very least that of weighing in with my opinions.