But even proper Cynicism is popular these days. Movies like Fight Club and shows like Wilfred are Cynical. In both shows — SPOILER ALERT — a pseudo-fictional character works to convince the protagonist to live naturally. (I mean naturally literally, as in ‘according to nature.’ I value literal expression.) Cynicism says, “Forget respecting societal conventions like authority or private property rights, Edward Norton/Elijah Wood/YOUR NAME HERE. Just live like the animal you are.”
Cynicism seems freeing. It challenges conventional values and thus frees people from the burden of meeting arbitrarily high standards. But Cynicism still values natural living. What if you’re as disenchanted with basic human functions as you are with everything else? You just might be a nihilist, and that’s nothing good. In fact, it's nothing at all.
Suffering through frustrations and travesties produces character. That character might be cynical or gracious, but it will be you. Honestly, grace makes no sense given how disappointing and terrible things can be. Why patiently hold out hope and choose to love what’s so dismissible? Because that’s grace, and grace is beautiful and true and good. And, unlike nothing, it is.