I feel like I can be a pretty cynical person, but occasionally I will open up social media and go hoooboy. This happened to me yesterday after reading some posts on NextDoor (NextDoor seems to be even worse than Twitter and I don’t understand why) after a pretty big and exciting development project got approved in our city. There’s a lot of posts about how poorly our city is run and how this project is going to fall apart and, well, yada yada yada.

Now, I have my own cynicism about this project myself. There’s a lady on city council that is absolutely obsessed about the dirt that is going to be displaced from this project and where is it all going to go. Like, lady, you don’t think a construction company is going to know what to do with a pile of dirt? She has brought it up at every city council meeting I’ve listened to in the past 2 years and I just don’t understand why that’s her main concern about this project or why the developer’s answers the previous meetings are forgotten and we have to rehash how moving dirt is expensive and they will find good uses for it as efficiently as possible.

But if you were to listen to the people on NextDoor you would think we live in some sort of poorly run hellhole that is one or two steps away from total societal collapse. Do we live in the same place? I moved to this city for a lot of reasons but one of them is that it’s pretty well run. Is it perfect? Of course not. Could it do better? Always. And calling out where we can do better is often how we do better.

But there seems to be a pervasive hopelessness or cynicism about almost everything. Have you been to other places in the world? It’s not perfect and we have some things we really need to work on — but there’s a lot to celebrate too.

Yesterday as I was driving home from a volunteer meeting I was getting pretty cynical about something someone said in the meeting. I was getting really frustrated. And I stopped myself to really analyze why I was getting upset. Were there things that happened imperfectly and I would have liked to see happen better? Yeah. If I were in charge and did the same thing, would I want to receive more grace then what I’m currently giving this person? Yes, that too. And, in the grand scheme of things, are things going really well and am I hyper-focusing on one little thing and blowing it way out of proportion? Yes, absolutely.

And recognizing it, I stopped doing that. I moved on to other things.

Life’s too short.