Ode to Grumpiness


I’m not grumpy! I will have none of it! So what if I know better than other people what’s good for them? How is it a crime to call stupidity and tastelessness for what they are?

Sifting the good from the bad is a public service I would have thought. I’m still waiting though for the recognition that has been a long time coming.

Come on, you know I’m right.

Tell me you don’t recoil from some of the garbage that passes for mass entertainment. Reality TV . . . ‘Big Brother’, ‘Survivor’, . . . Reality? If that is anyone’s daily reality then they occupy a different universe from the one I live in. ‘Funniest Home Videos’ . . . ugh! Cringeworthy and cruel, and only remotely funny if your mental capacity peaked at age 6 years. And then there are the soaps. Writing this I realise I am out of touch and out of date with the latest offerings, having long ago decided that an hour spent watching ‘Neighbours’ or ‘Days of our Lives’ was an hour of my life I would never get back.

The thing is though, a lot of people do watch that stuff. They can’t all be vacant from the shoulders up, or can they?

As you get to be a grumpy old(er) man you begin to see a lot of stuff you would change if only other people had the sense to see what you see. You develop a fine sense that allows you to discriminate; to gravitate towards what uplifts and to shrink from what debases. You’re not sucked in by every latest attention grabber. You come to appreciate the beautiful and the transcendent, and turn away from the shallow and the enslaving. In short, you are now idiot-proof.

In your own mind that is.

One of the things you also learn as you grow and mature is that other people are going to do and say and think what they like and they are never, ever going to take any notice of you. After all, what would you know? Don’t you have wrinkles?

You forget all the stuff you thought and did and watched and believed along the way to where you find yourself now . . . a grumpy old(er) man who has the answers that no one wants to listen to.
Come to think of it, even as a sharp, intelligent, handsome, articulate young man (alright, that might be a bit of over reach), you believed you had the answers. You couldn’t then understand, still less accept, those old guys who seemed grumpy and thought they knew more than you did.

Is there a pattern somewhere here?

This grumpy old(er) man has another lesson to learn and another favour to ask:

If I were to ask God, my creator, for anything, it would be the ability to hold what I know gently; not to give it up in the face of opposition, but to not let it become an unnecessary barrier between myself and my sisters and brothers whom God has also made.


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