Sense and Sensibility

Age doesn’t always come with wisdom.
Sometimes it comes alone.

In the recent past, I’ve had reasons to believe that this supposedly humorous saying has a deeper message. I won’t get into the details of the when and where-abouts of how this enlightenment came upon me, ‘coz it will neither be of any relevance nor interest to anybody. Lets just say that I’ve witnessed 2 wise old people reacting to situations in ways that normally 10-12 year olds would know as being non-sensical. And before u dismiss this as another classical case of differences of opinion arising out of the generation gap phenomenon, lemme clarify that it is not so. This is about understanding why we behave the way we do as we grow older in years. As humans, aren’t we supposed to be getting wiser and sensible with age? Then why don’t we see this transformation into dignified mannerisms and lifestyle, that should naturally accompany wrinkled skin and graying hair?

Lets keep aside the differences in opinion, the beliefs and value systems due to the changing times and lifestyles. It is not fair to expect the older generation to understand the different set of priorities or values that we believe in, to accommodate and be comfortable with these ideas overnight, that would be idyllic. But this is more about matters relating to their own health, happiness, the way they cope with their retired life, the level of their expectations from the younger generation… I know, I know… I sound like these typical vampish characters (with the trademark crass background music) from one of Ekta Kapoor serials, but give it a thought. Haven’t we all come across situations like this?

It is said that old people need to be treated and looked after like kids. It is not about the caring or the loving bit, I don’t have a problem with that, only, I want to know, what happens to all that learning and knowledge and wisdom that one garners in this journey called life, through childhood and adolescence and adulthood?
I don’t mean to be overtly critical. I have seen, interacted and lived with old people showing impeccable conduct and behaviour. The quiet dignity with which they carry themselves and handle situations – they command and not demand respect from the younger generation. So what causes this difference? Is it the surroundings and environment in which we grow? Or is it an inherent and intrinsic quality? Is it always the circumstances that cause us to behave the way we do? Will it be the same with me when I’m 60? Scary thought, that… it’s a rather impossible situation, what does one do? Admonish them and tell them that it’s not the right thing to do? Or just let them be, ‘coz you love them so…

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