Now that I'm an old man (I prefer older) I know why people refer to "angry old men". Or more to the point, I know why older men get angry. It's because we've been around long enough to see the decay in society, the incompetence of governments, the disorder of organisations, and the absolute stupidity of our fellow human beings. Let me explain.
When one is 20 something our minds are filled with establishing our educational qualifications and careers; we hope that romance is in the air and everything around us is interesting, fresh and new.
Advance by 40 years and you've been there, done that. You know that:
- despite what anyone says, there is no such thing as a perfectly functional organisation. No matter what spin anyone tries to put on it, Board members, the press, the Chief Executive Officer, you know that every organisation you have experienced has a shit load of dead wood; managers that couldn't organise sex in a brothel, and only performing at a part of its capacity. Yes, some are better than others, but at a fundamental level, most organisations stumble along
- personal relationships, especially those of a romantic/intimate nature, are doomed to be difficult, heart-breaking and disappointing for you or others you know; there's no such thing as a perfect relationship. All you need do is look at domestic violence figures, divorce stats, and read the news
- otherwise smart people get knocked over by substance abuse. You wonder why increasing numbers of supposedly sensible, intelligent people sniff cocaine, stick needles full of junk in their arms, or smoke cannabis
- billions mindlessly allow religions to control their dress, reproduction, suppress half of their population because they aren't male, and brainwash their faithful followers with guilt and the fear of eternal damnation without a shred of evidence
- having a non-discriminatory immigration policy sounds very up-market and "nice", but is totally disasterous for a Western, liberal society being threatened with muslim immigrants who won't integrate and who agitate to impose their way of life on the rest of us
- governments never tackle the difficult issues, only those where they can score points and get re-elected into office
- the Keynesian system of economics doesn't work and is partially responsible for the irresponsible use of our natural resources and damage to our environment
Although the change in attitude from subservient compliance to stubborn resistance looks like "angry", it's really that we have matured and see the world in a different light.
In the end, every day is a beautiful day. We can hopefully, live our lives with a sense of achievement and fulfillment. Occasionally we should reflect on how extremely rare was the probability of our birth and be thankful that our spermatozoon led the pack.
Now that was a different post.