Curiousity keeps the cat

A little thought experiment for you: If no-one aged physically, which generation would you hang out with?

In my 30s I found people in their teens and 20s rather dull. They hadn’t experienced enough to be interesting, and their opinions were strong but uninformed. Now I find them refreshing – they seem dewy and unjaded. And I pity them. How big and scary the world is at 20, and how little you know how to cope with it.  And how much misplaced excitement and confidence you have at that age.

But people in their 30s are so often either cocky – as I was then – or on their way to narcolepsy. Or both. And so many of my peers are dull – dull – dull. Comfort zones have turned into safety zones. A rut, as they say, is a grave with the ends kicked out. So many of my peers aren’t curious. Au contraire.  They are intert. They are timid. Others bleat on their way to the slaughter-house, mutton dressing as lamb. The men are worse than the women: Peter Stringfellows and Simon Cowells, desperately trying to be 30 again. The Stones, on the other hand, are impressively old. Subverting their ways to the grave, they continue to suggest that excess is best. Though financial prudence has obviously helped, and they have dodged more than a few health bullets on the way.

It’s an interesting thought experiment though. – Who would I hang out with if no-one showed any signs of age?

I’m irresistibly drawn to those who are fully engaged with life, to those who are questioning and curious and ruthlessly alive. I’m repelled by those who are bored in their teens, arrogant in their 20s, smug in their 30s, timid in their 40s, and who spend the rest of their time resisting everything that’s been said or done since their 35th birthday. Life is short enough as it is, without becoming dead in the soul when you are only half way through.

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2 responses to “Curiousity keeps the cat

  1. I can’t help but see images of a society of teenagers, or babies. I wonder which one would be more successful?

    Would people who insisted that the sixties were the best decade EVER still do so if youth was available to them (and if they did so, would it be the best decade EVAH, or would it just be groovy)? And would people relegated to silent, humble pensioner status suddenly feel that we would be really interested in what they did in the war, and if they were younger, would we actually be interested?

  2. Age is irrelevant. It’s attitude that counts. Curiosity, and a willingness to learn about new things with an open mind, is what I look for in people. I’ve no time for people – especially young people – who say they are “bored”, nor for people of my own age [elderly] who say that they are “too old” to learn about computers.

    My grandfather thought that the first “catswhisker” crystal radio was the greatest miracle of his lifetime [he was born in 1867]. I think IT, and the power we now have to communicate instantaneously with people all around the globe, is truly marvellous. I wonder where the cutting edge of technology will have taken us in 20, and 50, years’ time?

    The 1960s, btw, were fun, and interesting, and hopeful – but certainly not the best decade I’ve lived through.

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