Setting: Having been laid off after man years of faithful service, Charlie (C)is angry and bitter, having felt betrayed by the company he invested so much of himself in. Rick, (R) has suggested that Charlie is at a critical crossroads. One road leads to cynicism and bitterness. The other road leads to illumination and wisdom. Charlie opens part 4 asking what the difference is between a wise person, a 'sage,' and a 'cynic...'
C: What’s the difference?
R: Cynics are 1% short of wisdom.
R: They’re 99% of the way there. They’ve learned that corporations, people, organizations, institutions, bosses, coaches, governments, spouses, sales reps, clergy, politicians, and for those humble enough to admit it, even themselves…. will sooner or later, let them down…. or worse.
R: Turn on 'em, abandon 'em, injure 'em.
C: You still haven't answered by question. Why 99%?
R: Cynics believe that everything and everyone they've excountered, no matter what they promise… or how broad their smile, is, in the end, a self serving fraud in disguise. They assume the worst about everyone and everything.
C: That's logical.
R: What's not logical is the assumption that because they've never encountered anything or anyone entirely trustworthy, a trusthworthy person or cause doesn't exist. Cynics assume 99% = 100%, sages don't.
C: Can’t blame em, can ya? I mean, if ya get kicked by the last 99 people who passed by, it’s hard to be optimistic about #100.
R: Understandable, to be sure, but what if... What if #100 had predicted the behavior of the previous #99?
C: I’d still be skeptical.
R: But what if you knew a few people who found him different? Trustworthy?
C: What do you mean, ‘trustworthy?’
R: I guess I mean, that, unlike the 99, he doesn't’ lie. Doesn't injure. He mends.
C: I assume that this #100 you’re talking about is God or Jesus or something like that?
C: It's not that tidy, Rick. I’ve talked to plenty of religious folks who eventually walked away from God, finding him to be no different than the 99 others.
R: ….and grown bitter?
C: You might say that.
[to be continued]
''The problem with the western world is that it believes that the chief end of life is to enjoy comfort, when it's actually
to display beauty. That's why so many,
who are so comoftable, are