Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The Evolution - Or Possibly Devolution - Of A (gulp) Curmudgeon?
Like butterflies, human beings go through metamorphoses, or stages of development. How wondrous is it that something as homely as a lowly cocoon develops at its appointed time into a majestic butterfly? Humans, too, evolve from something amorphous into amazingly complex, sentient creatures. The young human being can be compared to a lump of clay – plain, colorless, and without form. As the clay is worked by the skilled hands of life, it soon takes shape and becomes something magnificent. The results are, of course, always much better when the clay is worked by the likes of a Michelangelo rather than, say, a kindergartener.
I’ve been through the stages, as have we all. We go from cute and malleable infant to cute but possibly surly child; from moody, nihilistic teenager to idealistic young adult; and from tolerant mature adult to … intolerant mature adult? “What?!” I know you’re saying.
I see it in myself, and I wonder how many other adults experience the same roller coaster of emotions? There was a time when I was tolerant of everyone and everything – and I mean Every. Thing. To be regarded as remotely judgmental or parochial minded, even by myself (especially by myself), would have been anathema when I was in my 20s and 30s. As I age, however, I find that my tolerance quotient is diminishing exponentially. All the time, I catch myself yelling “You moron!” "Are you insane?!" “You pervert!” (and depending on how ticked I am, I may yell out which kind of pervert) when someone does something annoying. The scary thing is, it doesn’t even have to be any huge deal. Minor annoyances can bend me out of shape these days. Is this the early onset of curmudgeonry?
Some things just tick me off no end, things like
* Players and poseurs
* Deliberately obtuse people
* Rude, crude, obnoxious people
* Disregard for rules
* Things that break long before they should
* Intentional cruelty
* People with no self-control
* The rise in crime
* The decrease of civility
* Theft of anything at all, tangible or intangible
* Rampant phoniness
* Excuses for every kind of aberrant behavior
* Today’s political climate
* Pat Robertson, George Allen, Bill O’Reily, etc., yada-yada, ad infinitum, ad nauseam – you get my drift
My God, I have become a curmudgeon, haven’t I? Shhhh! Don't answer that. I could yell something at you.