The only deadly sin I know is cynicism.
—Henry L. Stimson (1867–1950) American Political leader, Military Leader, Lawyer
Don’t be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don’t bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
The satirist is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet he is forced by attraction to concern himself with the world that repels him.
—Italo Calvino (1923–85) Italian Novelist, Essayist, Journalist
The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
In the present state of the world it is difficult not to write lampoons.
—Juvenal (c.60–c.136 CE) Roman Poet
The cynic never grows up, but commits intellectual suicide.
—Charles Reynolds Brown (1862–1950) American Clergyman
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
—Sydney J. Harris (1917–86) American Essayist, Drama Critic
The satirist who writes nothing but satire should write but little — or it will seem that his satire springs rather from his own caustic nature than from the sins of the world in which he lives.
—Anthony Trollope (1815–82) English Novelist
Cynicism is the humor of hatred.
—Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852–1917) English Actor, Theater Personality
Cynicism is the intellectual cripple’s substitute for intelligence.
—Russell Lynes (1910–91) American Art Historian, Photographer, Author, Editor
Cynicism is cheap — you can buy it at any Monoprix store — it’s built into all poor-quality goods.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer