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Are You An “Old Fogey”?

October 23rd, 2017

“You’re a bunch of old fogies”, my father told the homeowners. He spoke in his deep, commanding voice that made people sit up and listen, whether they wanted to or not.  It was an authoritative tone that often left people speechless.

His less than diplomatic outburst was because in the adult community where he lived people had forgotten how to interact with youth. To live there you must be 12 years old or older, and most residents were at least 65.

Why the excitement? Someone had rented their home to a family with teenagers.  And the teenagers made noise when they went to the pool in the evening. – Not raucous noise, but enough to be heard, just like the adults could be heard at the pool during the daytime.

In the eyes of the majority it was clear that something had to be done. Surely the youth were drinking, and maybe even taking drugs!

My dad was the only person who had taken an interest in the young people sitting around the pool. He had asked them questions and gotten to know them. Dad knew the kids at the pool were from the High School baseball team. Talk was about their latest game. Their drinks, which were sodas, were in plastic glasses to keep with the pool rules.

When Dad took his evening walk he made it a habit to go by the pool and to chat with them. They were “good kids” in his opinion and had the same right to bring friends to the pool as any other member of the community.

Certainly calling people “old fogies” is not recommended if you want people to listen to you. However, the story has a good message. Let’s not judge people of other generations by assumptions and generalities. Let’s chat with each other, work together, and take time to know each other as individuals.

An important key of age-esteem is to remain relevant, and to have active interaction with people of all generations.

Bonnie Fatio

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