People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote!
I do think that outward cynicism speaks to an inner wealth of cynical thoughts as well. I think of a teacher I know that (behind their backs) calls students idiots. It has always struck me that if he knows not to say this in more public settings but feels totally at ease to say so in more private one, that he is really struggling with some inner demons.
On the other hand, I know of another teacher (and many more like her) who speak so openly kind and compassionately about all the students that come into contact with her. It is not that she does not feel frustrated at times, but that she clearly sees that even difficult students have a silver lining.
When I look in the mirror, I know I don't want to be a cynic. And while I do hit speed bumps at times, I never express overt negativity either to a student or to a colleague about that student. I am lucky that my natural inclination is to avoid cynicism and search out a more forgiving stance.
In my karate school we define success as "Treat people the way you want to be treated." It is much healthier to err towards the positive: our student deserve this!