Passive Observance in Early Old Age
Under the category of “aging gracefully,” I’m trying to develop a stronger
proclivity for avoiding arguments at all cost. This is difficult for me
because I have always enjoyed a good argument. For the most part, I’ve
always been outspoken — respectful or otherwise — about anything that
interests me. I’m changing my ways though. “No more arguing” is my
The time has come to be much more of a passive observer, simply to
maintain my sanity and peace of mind in old age.
Still, as a proud member of the American Liberal Vociferous Debate Club
(ALVDC), I do, on occasion, find myself yelling out loud at the news now
and then, even though nobody is listening — in particular, when I see and
hear Trump, Sanders, Conway, Bolton or Pompeo speak. It is painfully
obvious how Trump and his minions frequently speak in vague, angry
tones that profess more misinformation than transparency. It’s a great
tragedy that hopefully will all change by January 2021.
Referring to Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University
Harry Frankfurt, author of “On Bullshit,” the essence of bull is
“indifference to how things really are.“ That sums up, in brief, the
personification of many folks within the Trump administration. Think
climate change, for instance, or the recent murder of Jamal Khashoggi,
or the way in which the Mueller investigation is constantly called a
But I keep this reaction in the privacy of my home, understanding that
arguing about this truly tragic American circumstance will not change
anyone’s mind in Trump’s base, not to mention that it’s extraordinarily
tiresome to attempt to change anyone’s thinking in Trump’s base. I’ve
tried to respectfully argue my fact-filled viewpoints with Trumpians I
have known all my life — regarding the misinformation and dishonesty
that is plain to see and prove — to no avail. Basically, they pretty much
have this biased thinking about liberals such as me that prevents them
from honoring the truth. They just look at me and think I’m a foolish liar.
I’ve been told, as an example, that my word use is tricky and not based
on empirical facts, when nothing could be further from the truth.
In short, critical thinking falls to the wayside in conversations with
Trumpians. For instance, if I cite a New York Times or Washington Post
article, they label it as fake news without really delving into the facts
presented in the article. Let’s be honest here, the journalists from these
two publications are professionals, many of whom who have studied at
the Columbia Journalism School (and other fine “J” schools across
America) where students from all over the world come to study because
of its excellent reputation for teaching journalists how to become
unbiased, fair, focused-on-facts writers. These people are not amateurs.
They know how to cover the news and cannot be compared to the folks
at Brietbart or Infowars, two of many examples of poor substitutions
advancing false conspiracies these days.
I feel that all I can do now is vote and maybe show up at an anti-Trump
There is a part of me that wants to punch every Trumpian square in the
nose — a truly ungraceful, stupid and dangerous act to say the least.
Instead, I have learned from past experience to just wait patiently,
gracefully, without word or deed.
There is a side of me that can get along just fine with Trumpians as
well — just don’t talk about politics, even in the slightest way. That seems
to be the best solution for all of us to get along these days. The same
holds true for the topic of religion.
I think to age gracefully really means that you have come to that time in
your life when you no longer have to prove anything. You can be silent.
Now is when you can be yourself without giving it another thought. If
you don’t like me, so what. I no longer need acceptance by anyone other
than myself and my loved ones. I believe that is the way to age
gracefully. I think becoming that brings a certain calmness and patience
that puts you in an inner peace zone that is unbreakable.
A powerful and simple quote I’ve been frequently seeing online on
various social media lately goes like this:
“Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of
time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in
It’s from Brené Brown, author of “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be
Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.”
Combine that quote with the idea of living authentically as possible and I
think the picture of aging gracefully becomes clear.
To conclude, a recent and succinct post on Medium’s Personal Growth
section, headlined “What You Can Do Instead Of Arguing,” probably said
“Once you enter into an argument, you’re entering into another person’s
world. And that world may not be a rational one. You’ll probably just
end up frustrated.”
Thanks for stopping by,
“You can either
chose both. “
- Roger Moore