Posted by: getthenac | January 26, 2010

Cynicism vs. Idealism

From Wayne Wood:

Conan’s exit from The Tonight Show was as classy as Johnny Carson’s, just about three decades of service earlier. Here it is on Hulu:

Johnny wished us a very heartfelt good night. Conan had something else to say. Here’s the quote from Conan’s farewell statement that struck me: “All I ask of you, especially young people . . . is one thing. Please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen.”

I’ve heard cynicism described as the protective armor  idealists wear to avoid being hurt by the world, or maybe because they have already been hurt by the world. Conan was still sticking to the idealism. As a motto to live by, you could sure do worse than “Work hard and be kind.”


  1. I would be considerably less cynical if I were being paid $45 million to give my job to Jay Leno. “Hey, Jay!” I would say. “It’s yours, dude! Regale my coworkers with ‘Headlines.'”

  2. I am too cynical to even read this. (Just kidding, I’ll read it later)

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