Not an Ounce of Cynicism in Sight.

As shocking as my memory is, I always seem to be able to recall the excruciatingly embarrassing moments of my past. They are moments of both physical and verbal faux pas. The dress in the back of the stockings sits next to the very public berating of a man for having no morale (I meant morals) while sitting precariously on my very own wobbly high horse. Rather than admit I didn’t understand I preferred to just raise an eyebrow in disbelief. Rather than being a skeptic I chose the easy route of cynicism and with it came judgement. I’m embarrassed about the judgement.

It has taken me years to understand the pure joy of sitting with someone whose view is so incredibly different to my own. Years to discover that debate doesn’t have to get nasty, a laugh can be had while an idea is rolled from one tongue to another.

A friend recently asked how I could possibly read a particular paper in Australia “Kirsty, it’s just so conservative.” And it is. But everything else I read isn’t, and I need the balance. How do you know or understand how someone really thinks or feels if you don’t bother to listen?

It’s too easy to be cynical. Particularly when you’re disguising your cynicism as intelligence. 

There are good politicians. There are business people who are giving money to the poor, and yes, Miley Cyrus will get older and look at her performance and think Oh shit that really does look like I’m having sex on stage and that bloke is really bloody old why didn’t anyone arrest him?  Or maybe she won’t, it doesn’t matter.

I listened to a Fidler interview recently, the interviewee, Robyn Pratt, had lost her memory after a sinus operation. She was the mother of two boys and the Vice President of an International Company. She’d flown up to three times a week all over the world, and there she was, in a hospital bed with no memory of her past. Nothing. A clean slate. She talked of getting on a plane six months later and her partner having to describe what a passport was and how it all worked. The beauty in the story came with her description of being so incredibly excited by a plane ride. This was effectively her first flight. She couldn’t believe that the plane was going to take off and fly through the air. The magic of it all. I thought back to my own first experience as a child, the absolute wonder. Here was a woman who’d rushed through airport procedures three times a week who’d taken it all for granted. “I guess I’ve been lucky, I’ve been able to do so many things for the first time twice”.

If travel and the process of having babies in four different countries has taught me anything, it is that the we may all come in very different packages, but our wishes are the same. To love and be loved, to experience family, to give. Head to any maternity ward in any country and you’ll find the same parents. Each with the same sense of optimism for their baby. A clean slate.

Not an ounce of cynicism in sight.

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