I had an experience this morning at my local park which helped open my eyes about one of the possible reasons seniors might choose to live in a 50+ community. It's because we want to get away from all those young people who are still experimenting with getting life right. Since young adulthood is a trial and effort at attempting, failing and trying again to live well, it's hard then to be an older person who has already lived these lessons and to be stuck among the young who are making all their own mistakes along the way. Sure, they have to make their mistakes on their own just like we did, but do I really need to be there to watch and experience their folly? This post is precipitated by an event and encounter this morning at our local park with two young women (20-somethings) and their pack of four unleashed big dogs, one of which - a Boxer - decided to suddenly and without provocation attack my dogs. I saw the big dog coming when one of the woman began yelling as her dog bolted and came charging across the park towards where my little dogs and I were on the grass. I managed to get my smaller dog into my arms just before the attack, yet I had to defend my other dog with my legs as the Boxer displaying clear aggression as it tried to get his jaws on him. I did kick the Boxer twice as we danced and flailed around when the bigger dog almost got little Ollie, and before the woman who had yelled arrived to pull her big dog away.
The two women laid into me instantly for kicking the Boxer away, calling me a child-abuser among other things. I tried to explain that I was simply protecting my much smaller dog though the women were not having it. Bystanders in the park soon chimed in telling the two women to take their dogs and leave. It was a difficult experience for me, and though I'm sorry that I had to kick at the Boxer (he seemed alright as the blows were meant more to ward the dog away than to hurt it) I nevertheless believed that I did what was needed to protect my much smaller dog. The point then, is that I left that park thinking how I'd rather be in a community where such young people who are so full of themselves and selfish (the women were in no way apologetic of the situation their reckless behavior put my dogs in, which is especially startling given there is a fenced dog park only fifty feet from where the incident occurred). This sense was heightened by the support offered to me by the other people at the park - mostly people my age - who were equally amazed and astonished by the event.
Yeah, enough with these young people (at least that's how I feel at this exact moment). I need to find me a nice community of seniors who have already completed their hard knocks life courses on growing out of being stupid. That, or get back to Japan where cultural and social constraints seemingly instill some of the same "wisdom" and restraint as personal maturity.
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.