Thoughts On Getting Older

Maybe 30-years ago my boss and I were having a casual discussion in the coffee room of the radio station.  To him, any discussion was one that involved politics.  He was an older gentleman who lived, breathed and worshipped conservatism.  It was the only viewpoint he could imagine.  Any other point of view was simply alien, non- sensical and outright seditious.  The boss made a point of routing ultra-conservative magazines, newspapers and broadsides to the staff.  He made doubly sure that I saw them as soon as possible.  That was in spite of the fact that I requested that the printings not come my way.

I think my boss was more curious as to my nature and personality.  I was the only overtly liberal, free-thinking, non-Christian he’d ever known for an extended time.  We were mutually irritating to each other for maybe a year.  Then, I decided that I just didn’t have the time and energy to waste on such judgements and feelings.

It was shortly after I’d let go of the animosity that we had during the coffee room discussions. The boss just finished his efforts to sell me on the virtues of the “Young Americans For Freedom” and “The John Birch Society”.  I didn’t put forth any objections nor offer any of my own opinions to the contrary.  I simply nodded and thanked him for his views.  The boss was surprised and a bit disappointed that I didn’t choose to spar with him.  He then made a comment that has stayed with me ever since that day.

“As a man gets older, he tends to become more conservative in outlook.”

He smiled and winked at me when he said it.  I smiled back then returned to my newsroom duties.  I also, couldn’t make much sense out of his frequent comments about his high opinion of former Senator Joseph McCarthy, infamous for his red-baiting witch-hunts of the 1950s.  On that note, I just carried on.  I probably thought about his comment for a few minutes, shrugged my shoulders, then filed the sentence away for future reference.

As I’ve been a curious fellow who is quite fond of libraries, bookstores, and now, the web, I’ve liked to dig in to the roots of nature, culture, politics, human behavior and so forth.  I’m not content to look for material that simply validates my opinions.  In my heart, I know that I’ve changed my views on many subjects as the years have gone by.

I know that if I simply want to vindicate my opinions, then I will be closed off to fresh, new information.  My life would become narrow and more self-centered.  No, just padding my worldview didn’t seem like a very happy thing to do.


I take up new interests and involve myself deeply in their inner workings for years on a regular basis.  When I get as much usefulness out of them as I can, I tend to jettison those interests.  I do remember the experiences from those interest then incorporate them into my constantly expanding worldview.

As the years have passed, I find myself much less concerned with worries about how other people might judge me.  I found out that it’s really true that most folks are far more involved with themselves than to really care deeply about me.

Even if others like or hate the way I am, it really doesn’t matter anyway.

My own journey of aging has seen me get rid of many outmoded beliefs, habits and silly points of view that used to seem deadly and urgently important and serious.  I still harbor a few quirks, but I’m more aware of them now than in the past.  Aging has given me the freedom to explore new ideas and interests.  I’ve been able to be even more creative and to explore new avenues of expression.  The bluejayblog is just one example of this growth.

The last time I saw my old boss was long after his retirement a few months before he died.  His senility came between our old right versus left discussions.  Those visits had always been congenial.  I wonder if he would revise his comment about age begetting conservatism.

He’d see for himself that I have become even more liberal, open-minded and far less doctrinaire.  My life is far more open, happy, expansive and inclusive.  Conservative?  Nah, I don’t think so.

There’s a huge, interesting world out there, I want to take in and understand to the core as much of it as humanly possible.


The Blue Jay of Happiness loves this T.S. Eliot quote, “I don’t believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Controversy, Friendship, Hometown, Politics, Youth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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