You got an old wounded war vet, accomplished, proud, would do it all over again in the blink of an eye if he had to, for his country, for his children's freedom, because he loves his fellow comrades. Then you got some young punk pants drooping off his azz, flipping up gang signs while burning a flag saying I hate America..... And you don't see why older people get grumpy????? Serious?
Why do some people get so uptight and grumpy as they grow older while others grow up into an all accepting saint?
Try living 50 or 60 years our gov sux
As Yin and Yang pointed out certain actions do insult the elders. For the most part their minds are as sharp as they were 50, 60, 70 years ago. But their bodies are failing. It is extremely frustrating when I can see a problem and I know how to fix it but my body won't let me. I won't go intto details. Many times when I have to hire someone to make a minor repair they want to charge me an outlandish fee. Before I allow anyone to accept a job to repair something for me I have to ask number one to have a free estimate in writing. I demand a breakdown of all associated costs beforehand in writing. If it was not agreed to in writing before hand I will not pay. Sorry for the rant but before I started to ask for everythiong in writing I had a man come to replace an electrical outlet once. Turn off the breaker, remove two screws, replace the old with a new, replace the cover and turn the breaker back on. You will not believe the cost he presented in the bill, $638.00! I had to go to court to have the harrassment stop. He wound up losing the case and having to pay for my attorney. The whole issue turned me into a very grumpy person. My beautiful wife went into overdrive to bring me back to the loving, caring, jovial, good natured man I was. Some of the all accepting saints, not all, but some have just given up and waiting to fade away.
When assessing human behavior, the only absolute is that there are exceptions to every rule.
Later life demeanor can be an accretion of experiences, perceptions and circumstances unique to the individual. Or it could turn on a single event.
A life of regret, pain or dysfunction may sow bitterness, anger, depression.
But not always.
A life of health, happiness and fulfillment may beget benevolence and magnanimity.
But not always.
Life experiences, health (both mental and physical), financial situation, number of close family and friends all effect someone's demeanor. My father-in-law was a jovial guy when I first met him. Full of life and had a million stories to tell. Then the dementia set in. He became fearful and disoriented which made him verbally abusive. I think my husband and I are the only people he never became abusive towards.
So my echoed parroting of Genetics, Environment and Experiences play nicely into your question.
We all start from genetic matter handed down and with a little mutation we can all call "Our Own" . . . What we eat, drink, breath in, and other exposures add to that uniqueness that is us . . . As we grow and are exposed to Experiences (good and bad) that also contribute to our neural pathways forming, we understand that it is our journey in life that has made us into what we are, and what we become into the Fall and winter of our lives.
So whether you are considered an elderly Saint or a grumpy curmudgeon, and all the variations in between . . . It was the journey that has created that which is you.
A lot depends upon how we are treated. Even "saints" find it difficult to be all-accepting of disrespectful, entitled people.
The mind is open for full review,
I'm sure most of us have heard the Cherokee legend of Two Wolves, (one evil, one good) a paradigm which conceptualizes the type of person we eventually become. (I am posting it at the end of my answer for ready reference.)
The basic genetic self that we start out with (assuming we are not one of the approximately 3% that are born broken) will be influence by many things over our lifetime. The nurturing we get, the principles we adopt, the experiences we have and the externailities over which we have no control that happen to us all affect which wolf is the dominant one when we finally get to the point where we can make choices about which wolf we will nurture from that point forward.
Then what we become is pretty much our responsibility. We are always changing, but while we cannot always control what happens to us, we can choose how to how to respond to what happens.
Free will---an awesome gift and a potentially terrible responsibility.
Two Wolves is a Cherokee Indian legend and illustrates the most important battle of our lives – the one between our good and bad thoughts. Here is how the story goes:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The Anglo-American journalist and raconteur Alistair Cooke,
once interviewed one of the last living people who had been around during the American civil war. It was in the early 1950's, and he was approaching (or perhaps past) his centenary.
He was expecting a very old man, with fading but interesting memories.
What he got was a bad-tempered old man who could not understand why he was being asked questions and why the wrong side "won".
He was still shouting at Mr Cooke as he left.
Age does not always mellow us.
I adopted the "100 year" rule several years ago. And as long as I stick to it, I am good.