Monday, January 18, 2010

On the cycle of cynicism

Our generation (post boomers, pre-millenials, sometimes called Generation X) is quite adept at cynicism. Over here at Green v. Green we're trying to acknowledge this and avoid becoming even more cynical, but it's tough.

In Sleeping Naked is Green, Vanessa talks about the cycle of cynicism. Here's an online a description of the cycle:


1. Finding out about a problem
2. Wanting to do something to help
3. Not seeing how you can help
4. Not doing anything about it
5. Feeling sad, powerless, angry
6. Deciding that nothing can be done
7. Begin shutting down
8. Wanting to know less about problems

Repeat until apathy results.

It's tempting to do nothing, but the problems don't go away. So somewhere between steps 3 and 4 up there, we can take some small actions, or try big actions, and maybe stop the cycle.

If we share the ideas that we do about #3 and #4, then someone else might like our idea and do it, or better yet, they might improve our idea and make it better, and then they'll share that, and pretty soon we have a cycle of innovation and hope. Maybe naive, but I guess that's better than cynicism...?

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