Sep 27, 2023
Sep 27, 2023
Caveat: This piece is absolutely my personal view; no one needs to take it as a profound assessment applicable to all. There are always exceptions.
Life has given me several opportunities to understand the world and the people many times; must be to everyone. However, in many instances we, rather I would say, I was myopic and failed to either understand or read between the lines. One of these aspects is understanding people around us.
Friendship is something which is considered to be a great quality among humans and this aspect is considered to transcend even many barriers like age, qualifications, position, status and distance. I too was believing this all these days like many or some that ‘friendship’ worked beyond age.
But, on deeper introspection, I now understand that actually it is not.
Any ‘relationship’ or ‘friendship’ survives as long as there is a meeting point between two individuals. This meeting point doesn’t remain the same. It keeps changing. To put it precisely, this also ages with time and experience. It either turns boring or bland or redundant. When these are realized, though the relationship or friendship doesn’t snap, it weakens. Or one can feel the changes and staleness in the conversations.
Age turns the worst enemy of this. As one ages, the person invariably gets easily irritable and touchy. The expectations turn high and that reflects in the behavior. A man in the evening of life cannot be a friend to anyone who is younger to him by huge gaps in age or position. It shows. If someone says it doesn’t show, then it is either one or both are lying or pretending or one of them is compromising.
I feel it is natural.
The meeting point that has existed for so long will start fading. This is, in fact, one reason for the 'gap' emerging between the parents and children. Earlier periods also this existed but since everyone was in the same place, country and culture it was somehow tolerated. Today, the scenario is different. The young ones migrate to different countries and are exposed to absolutely a new culture and lifestyle. There is no place there invariably for the senior citizens.
One can talk to any person of any age with courtesy and respect. But, it just stops there. Extending it further is a waste of time for both. The sedentary or relaxed life of the aged will create either irritation, jealousy or envy to the younger ones. It is no blame game. It is a bitter truth. The elders, if shrewd, should understand this and keep or create a distance. Else they may have to face snide remarks to sharp slights. Maintaining friendship with young ones is akin to walking on a razor’s edge; it can hurt you at any time through act or words; one must be mentally prepared for that.
I always wondered how to develop ‘detached attachment’ in my early life; therefore, it is always wise to be aloof and indifferent after a particular age; it is good for all.
More by : G Swaminathan