The true cynic has only one obvious characteristic; he cannot be disappointed. This protective quality has the additional benefit of suppressing aspiration and generally tempering what most of us regard as the joy of living. Liberated from this primitive appetite, a cynic can be comfortable with his hobby of spoiling it for the rest of us, a pastime which he wryly savors.
The consequences of all his choices are in a sense the same to him. A positive outcome for anyone else can only be inadequate or unsatisfactory for him, so his disapproval will be appropriate. A negative result will be anticipated well in advance, and may best be endured in the company of others. Anything in between will be regarded as insipid and unworthy of consideration.
If heaven has a place for cynics, the gates should be guarded so none will escape into the general population. Cynicism is extremely contagious, and the most pious among us cannot long endure its potency. The gullible should be on their guard, however, since this endearing quality frequently masquerades as wit.
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