“Cynicism is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics. For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which is natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.” Wikipedia
The cynics were famous for their disregard of the opinions of others, and to some it appears this philosophy is an attractive alternative to the enforced conformity of modern times. However rejecting society to live in the streets is in my mind is as baseless a way of life as endlessly striving to “fit in” and meet the expectations of society.
Living in agreement with nature in my mind starts with an understanding of man’s position in nature, which is that of a social ape with better communication skills than others in our clade. Being social is at the core of our being, and what it requires in me is the need to balance being a member of the social group while at the same time maintaining my independence of thought. Being neither a social conformist and striver, nor a social outcast living in the woods or street.
Being a member of the social group and living a virtuous life is not only complementary but supportive of each other. What use is the virtue of justice without it’s application in social settings and my interactions with others? It is by my interactions with others that I measure myself and my progress in living a virtuous life.