Grumpy Young Men

I had a conversation with a coworker late today about something in the news (I’ll spare you the details) and I ended the conversation because I could tell he was getting worked up. He was rapidly descending into “grumpy old man” mode and I knew things were going to get unpleasant if the conversation continued. He isn’t really an “old man” per se; by my estimates he has at least a decade on me, but I thought it was sad on a certain level to see the “old man” come out of someone who is pretty chipper most of the time.

Based on conversations about his ‘good old days’ he was something of a firebrand, but somewhere, somehow, the fire burned out, leaving another bitter old man thinking that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

I’ll admit to carrying a box of cynicism in my pocket most of the time, but deep down, I think that the world is slowly becoming a better place. I believe that tomorrow will be a better day, despite the efforts of those who stand to lose if the status quo is not maintained. I like to think that the good people outnumber the bad, and eventually we will get to that Better Place where everybody gets along and everyone has the opportunity to grow and succeed.

I guess I’m something of a closet hippie, then. Groovy, baby. 🙂

At any rate, the episode made me think about myself as I grow older. Am I fated to lose that sense of optimism and hope as the months and years fall off the calendar? Or can I keep that fire burning despite the years, the tears, and the fears that lie ahead? I pray that I will, because the world has enough grumpy old men as it is.


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