Random Thoughts

Senior Citizens and Cynicism

The conclusion which I came to recently is that with ageing many of the people become cynical. Sounds harsh? Yes. But, true.

Older people tend to be more cynical because they have experienced more of life and seen the world from different perspectives. This results in us being exposed to disappointment, loss, and other difficult situations that can lead to cynicism.

I have been moving with people of several age groups since a few years before and during my service also I had to interact with people of varying types, age, position and mindset. In such a spectrum, while talking to them one could easily sense the other person’s feelings about life or any other matters.

One of my friends even when young, (I feel he was mentally very much old at that time itself as I have never come across any youthful cheer or positivity in any of his talk or act!) the first question he will ask when someone is introduced to him is ‘What is your salary?’. Such open, blatant, crude query and he would wait for the answer. What for? It is for comparison and to feel happy or sad depending upon the salary of the other person.

Why is it so?

With ageing many take these sorts of questions as an advantage of age and talk. Sweeping statements in the name of being frank, arrogant repartees in the form of worldly knowledge or most stupid responses due to total lack of wisdom and communication skills.

Even those who had been quite friendly and courteous when young turn into people to be avoided discreetly if not openly because of their behavior. Health issues are invariably a major contributor to this, no doubt.

All these irrespective of their financial status.

Since my life outside the country is almost next to nothing, I cannot say anything about foreigners. But, Indians I know in the evening of their lives invariably turn suspicious, crooked, arrogant or positively cynical (oxymoron). One cannot find fault with the family also since in most of the cases the children are grown up and will have their own families outside India or within the country or even within the city in different places.

One can just leave or escape from them. But, I am afraid that I too may slowly join the bandwagon of that ‘cynical senior citizen’ clan. 


More by :  G Swaminathan

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