Codger: (adj) an elderly man, especially one who is old-fashioned or eccentric.
It is not because I keep piling up birthdays–nor that there seems to be a new wrinkle in my countenance.
No, it is the fact that I believe that “codger” is not based on age. Instead, it’s a disposition.
Going through the store the other day, I noticed a fellow–no more than twenty-five years old–who was with his wife and little daughter.
I’m sure he didn’t need to. I’m quite positive that his legs were still filled with lots of power. But somewhere along the line, he convinced himself to adopt the profile of the masses when it comes to everyday living.
I describe that condition as a perpetual visual and emotional proclamation of, “It’s too much.”
- It’s too much debt.
- It’s too much crime.
- It’s too much trouble with the kids.
- It’s too much argument with my spouse.
- It’s too much pressure on the job.
Once convinced of this, any individual–at any age–becomes a grouchy codger.
He or she spews the venom of a sour soul, giving up on the possibility of the possible–checking out, absolutely certain that there’s no need to check in.
Now, I will grant you that many old people have also donned this persona in honor of their ancestors, simply to prove they were no better nor worse than their predecessors.
But it seems to me that it keeps starting younger and younger, and considering the fact that we seem to be living longer and longer, it certainly might make for an awfully dreary lifespan.
If you want to keep from being a codger, you have to use both eyes and ears:
One eye on what’s going on, and one eye on the blessing that might be coming your way.
One ear on the complaints that surround you, and the other listening intently for the song of hope.
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