Well, yes, as a confirmed cynic that cliché has been a guiding light in my life for many a long year. But while there's life, there's hope, and it's the exception that proves the rule - just to add to the abundance of clichés which save me from having to think of my own words.
And it is just possible that I stumbled across two of those exceptions yesterday. Well, I'm being a little economical with the truth when I say that I stumbled across them. Yes, I did just happen across one of them, but the other was thrust in front of my nose - or should I say my ear? - as the result of a telephone call.
The caller explained that he had been referred to me by the president of Brighton Lions Club, though quite why el presidente thought I would be the one to deal with this remains a puzzle. Joe - for that, I believe, is the caller's name - explained that he works for a company that has helped numerous schools and charities in south-east England to obtain funding for IT materials such as laptop computers. I am not sorry, or even ashamed, to confess that my first thought was that two or three of us had been talking about how a projector linked to a laptop would be useful and had even been thinking about making an application to the National Lottery to see if we could get a grant. Could this, I wondered, be the way to go?
My second thought was: What's in it for you? (My innate cynicism coming to the fore.)
However, I suggested that Joe should send me an email providing further information. After I had digested that, I might get in touch.
The email came though and, inter alia, referred me to the company's web site. I hied me thence and, scrolling through the testimonials, I discovered that they had assisted another not-too-distant Lions Club.
And as time is running away with me once again, I think I had better leave it there and finish the tale tomorrow.