On “The Habits of Highly Cynical People”

Rebecca Solnit has a powerful essay in the May issue of Harper’s that gets at something I’ve been thinking about for a while. In “The Habits of Highly Cynical People,” Solnit writes about what she calls “naive cynicism” — a pervasive cultural tendency to predict the worst, as if somehow that will protect us orContinue reading “On “The Habits of Highly Cynical People””

It’s Not a Package Deal

One of the problems with being a cynic is that, when you’re trying to learn something new, it’s easy to focus on all the things that sound wrong or silly or otherwise questionable and to disregard the entire lesson or experience as a result. I was sitting in a meditation class recently, for example, whenContinue reading “It’s Not a Package Deal”

The Snark Defense

Sunday was graduation day for my coaching class. As I boarded the Q train to Manhattan, I was half dreading it. We’d all been asked to make a short presentation about what the program and our colleagues had meant to us. My immediate response was an eye-roll. I hate this kind of thing, I thoughtContinue reading “The Snark Defense”