Older doesn’t mean we have to be more stupid

July 20, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


“Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we have to be more stupid.”

This was a statement made to me by a friend when I had asked him his advice on something. I then asked him if he was going to paint this piece of wisdom on his ceiling. I mean, wisdom that profound ought to be within eyesight on a regular basis. And if not, it shouldn’t just be written down on some flimsy piece of paper with a pencil. As I heard Jeff Allen say one time, get out some concrete and chisel and get that one on your wall or something.

With each year of getting older and grumpier (or is it grumpier and older?…) and learning how to navigate through those waters, each step supplies its own set of challenges. Now, I think every season of life has its own beauty. Just like the seasons of the year, each season has its own distinct beauty. Or like different parts of the country, each has its own distinct beauty. But as you navigate those waters, it does take adjustments.

Oftentimes, I’ll look at some guy and I’ll think to myself, “That guy… the way he’s dressed… he looks totally out of date.” And then I think, “Oh… well, that’s how I dress. That must be how I look.”

Like I don’t own a pair of skinny jeans. Skinny jeans? What is that about? I’m trying to hide things here.

And I didn’t realize that cargo shorts meant that you were a geek. I like cargo shorts. I like all the pockets. I like all the things I can stuff in the pockets. (Having pockets to stuff things in is an important aspect of life.) I didn’t realize that made me a geek. So now, not only am I old and grumpy, but now I’m also geeky. So I’m old, grumpy and geeky. I had better watch out… the next thing I’ll know is that I’ll be a wonky donkey.

You can also tell I’m older and grumpier because every pair of pants I own that has a hole in them… I earned those holes.  I didn’t buy them like that.  I have one pair of jeans that has a hole in the knee where I dove for our hound dog… on asphalt… to rescue a cat it was after.  (Some might think that was wasted effort.)  But that is a whole story (no pun intended…) all by itself.

So… if you are getting older (aren’t we all?)… whether you are in style, out of style, or out of sync, when it comes to making decisions, just remember… “Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we have to be more stupid.”


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].