Ahhh… and then I read this, and I began to see cynicism in a whole new light! I still stick to what we often say that a certain amount of cynicism among cops is both understandable and necessary. But this perspective by Colbert does present yet another reason to keep it in check; cynicism applied with a broad brush does have a way of presenting an understanding of people and the “way things are” that may misperceive reality, while the holder of the misperception is excused of fact checking by virtue of faux wisdom. Cynics too easily smirk and disregard possibilities that could alter their perception because, well… they just know better!
And what is that borne of among cops? Experience that those people with whom we deal will lie to us, will disappoint us, will violate our trust until we expect the worst and set distrust as our default.
The problem lies in the tendency many of us harbor to shut out non-cops and non-police activities because we’ve generalized that on-duty cynicism to all aspects of our life. We get cynical and we say “no.”
But saying "yes" begins things. Saying "yes" is how things grow. Saying "yes" leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say "yes."
And that’s The Word. - Stephen Colbert
So open your mind to being - or staying - young. Open your mind to the new and different. Open your mind to letting go of just a little cynicism and see where it takes you.
Open your mind to saying, “Yes, and…” and see if it doesn’t broaden your experience.
About The Authors:
Althea Olson, LCSW has been in private practice in the Chicago suburbs since 1996. She has a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University providing individual, couple, & group therapy to adolescents, adults, and geriatrics. Althea is also trained in Critical Incident Stress Management & is a certified divorce mediator.
Mike Wasilewski, MSW has been with a large suburban Chicago department since 1996. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University and has served on his department’s Crisis Intervention & Domestic Violence teams. Mike is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern College.
Mike & Althea have been married since 1994 and have been featured columnists for Officer.Com since 2007. Their articles are extremely popular and they now provide the same training and information in person throughout the United States. This dynamic team was recently featured at the at the 2010 & 2011 ILEETA Conference & Exposition.
Out of their success has come the formation of More Than A Cop where the focus is providing consultation and trainings on Survival Skills Beyond The Street.