Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What were middle aged and old people like when they were young?

Since I teach at a university and live in a dorm, my most frequent companions – and those whom I see every day − are young. Many – not all – are energized, hopeful, idealistic, beautiful. They see a world full of possibilities.

This morning my companions were different. I have spent three hours in the Salt Lake City Delta Airlines First Class lounge with contemporaries or near contemporaries. Most look tired and many seem unhappy. Overheard cell conversations provide windows on intimate details of professional and personal lives. (Why do people assume that by picking up a cell, even if in a crowded public space, they are magically assured the privacy of an executive office or bedroom?) Common sentiments I heard were arrogance, resentment, distress, and cynicism. There was so little joyfulness in these conversations. This particular group has sufficient means to afford a first class air ticket. For how many has a substantial income brought joy and satisfaction with life.

Soon, I will be back in environment in which the young predominate. I want to cry out to them. Don’t, I beg of you, choose one of the paths that most around me, this morning, seem to have trod!


Blogger Stephen said...

This is so true.

I lived in a dorm for my undergrad years (starting at age 25) and now will do so again for my graduate studies (at 27) and I noticed that they seem so bubbly and cheerful and fresh compared to myself.

Somehow I've become bitter and frustrated with life and wonder when I went from being like them to who I am now and if its too late to go back.

4:51 PM  

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