Cynicism is a protection against caring. It is not exactly a rejection or criticism, but rather a way to muffle sharp edges. Very useful, and quite dangerous.
Normally I am not much of a cynic. I do smell roses and rejoice in the beauty of the sky. I smile about every small child I see. I even, on occasion, think well of my neighbors.
But it is easy to slip. The sky is polluted and a storm is coming. Roses will be eaten by bugs and killed by November frost. Small children, like all of us, will eventually die, possibly horribly. So what difference does it all make? Letting such an attitude overtake our consciousness is pure poison and with a strong enough dose one might as well be dead already.
But like many poisons, a small dose of cynicism can make us a little healthier and more sane. It is good, for example, to be cynical about claims that are too good to be true. Good to be cynical about the various prophecies of even experts _ for nobody can predict any future with complete certainty. Good to distrust to some degree almost any human motivations.
Ah, but adjusting the dose? That’s tough. And for a few, cynicism becomes addictive. Often caused by failing to enthusiastically regard the sky, roses, and small children.