Lately, I've noticed a trend starting on this site, especially amongst the older. . .achem. . . I meant more EXPERIENCED. . . gentlemen. It's nothing that doesn't go on in normal society, but it's relatively new here. I'm speaking of the tendency to dismiss, even deride, the opinions of us young bucks based purely upon our age.
Surely, there's a lot of younger men and boys on here who are what my granddad used to call "broadcasters without sponsors", but age is not the only requirement for knowledge or common sense. Plenty of men with gray in their beard are just as full of it. I agree that experience is vital. So, to those who might question my credentials for dispensing advice, or projecting an opinion, here they are:
As a child, I chose to listen to the elderly rather than kiss the asses of the youthful. I listened, and I learned. I started and operated a successful business at the age of thirteen. It's still helping to pay the rent (barely). I've worked for my money since I was the same age. I've stood watch over a cancer ridden mother and cared for a dying grandfather. I've felt frustration, pain, anger, shame, and guilt. And I've moved past them. I've paid for my college tuition. I've worked in jobs where you needed boots to wade through the shit, and ones where a suit was required. I've worked beside political candidates, and watched as the best man (or woman) consistently lost to the worst. I've rubbed elbows with the rich and the somewhat powerful, and I've lived next to the poorest and the lowest of society. I've bled in a fight, I've sweated under the sun, and I have paid my way. My hair may not be gray, but my shoulders are broad and my eyes are open.
These are my credentials. I possess neither advanced age nor advanced wisdom. But I have been paying my dues since I knew such a thing was required. I've been around the block, through the neighborhood, and become far more familiar with its dark alleys than I would ever like to admit. I'm not perfect and I'm certainly no genius. What I am is a man who has experienced just enough to have an opinion, and survived enough to know he has some common sense. Choose not to listen, if you wish. That is, after all, your prerogative.