Sunday, July 1, 2012


Old people love to complain. They are never satisfied with anything. True or false?

The answer is probably True. But they do have valid reasons for their grouses.
Let's put ourselves in the shoes of an 80-year old man. He has limited funds so he complains about soaring prices. He recalls the old days when a cup of kopitiam coffee cost only 40 cents. Now it's RM1.60 at the mamak stall.

There was a time when he could travel and enjoy an active social life. These days he is mostly at home, unable to venture out alone because he no longer drives and there's no one free to take him out. His perennially-busy adult children have little time for him.

Once upon a time he lived to eat. Now he eats to live. His diet is restricted to low-fat, reduced-sugar and cholesterol-free foods. No more favorite hawker food for him, no more culinary indulgences, all because he has a host of health problems.

His old hobbies no longer interest him. He can't read because of poor vision. He has little interest in watching tv as the programs don't appeal to him. He can't enter the exciting world of the internet as he is computer-illiterate, and refuses to learn.

As a young man, he was blessed with good health and vitality. Now the passage of time has reduced him to a frail shadow of his former self, with all the accompanying aches and pain of old age.

Few friends drop by to see him, as they are in the same boat as he is. So he sits in his arm-chair or lies in bed the whole day long with only his memories to keep him company.

It is no wonder old people are bitter and grouchy. They have all the time in the world to gripe about everything under the sun, from high prices to corrupt politicians.

What a horrible way to grow old! We can't stop growing old, but we can certainly choose how we want to grow old. It's all about attitude.

We can choose to grow old complaining about things from A to Z. Or we can choose to focus our attention on the things that make us happy, like our grandchildren, like being able to look back at happy times with fondness, and not compare them with the present.

There is little point in harping on things that can't be changed. We should learn to accept whatever unfortunate circumstances we are dealt with and make the best of the situation. Let's make our lives worth living.


Starmandala said...

A wonderful post indeed!

cin2tan said...

Others c-chat for hours , biniku complains for miles (b4)...Km (now) !

Anonymous said...

Lily, during my time a pot of coffee with milk and sugar cost 10cents!
And I am very dissatisfied mainly with the way things are done today.
For a start, during my time, a guarantee is a guarantee.
Full stop.
Now, they call it a warranty with all sorts of terms and conditions attached.
During my time things lasts and lasts.
Nowadays, you'll thank your lucky stars if they last more than a few years!
And as far as houses are concerned, our houses, even those in the middle-upper range are not well constructed.
Especially, the ceramic tiles for both the walls and floor.
They are uneven and scrape your feet if you walk bare foot on it.
Crimes are the order of the day and we are prisoners in our own home.
But during my time, I can have neighbours walk in at midnight for a visit!
Lily, the good old days are gone for good.
So, how not to feel grouchy?

seniorsaloud said...

Durability was the buzz word in those days. If that were the case today, companies would go bankrupt. Products now have a limited shelf life built into them. We are living in an age of disposables and discards. Cheaper to buy new than fix the old. Workmanship is lacking, craftsmanship is almost extinct. Oh dear, I am griping again!

cin2tan said...

dat was 'cents' ...ONE-ton-mee = 30.
NOW onetonmee = 380 'sen' in Ipoh !!

SFGEMS said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. It helps me to understand a little bit more of what it feels like to be old. :)

joesfortune said...

I was smiling while reading this. Old people do have the reputation of being cranky. But are they really?

I don't think so. The seniors I have coffee with are having the time of their lives talking nonsense and girls, young girls.

As I writer, I may be moody, but not cranky. Time is too short and precious at our age to be spent on complaining about things that can't or won't change. -

Schoong324 said...

Apparently you missed the point of the article. People are about as happy as they make their minds up to be. You are free to be miserable if you choose but no one wants to listen to you complain.