Once they turn 40 people have a tendency to repeat their youth’s mistakes.
Between 30 and 40 they tried to do it all right. Sadly, that was neither fun nor functional. Besides, nobody was sufficiently moved or impressed by their endeavour. The situation enraged them. Then it tired them out. It was simply exhausting to constantly convince themselves to do the right thing, to develop tastes that weren’t their own, to cultivate relationships that never seemed to get any better. In short, nothing good seemed to come out of their good deeds! Just a quirky twist of events, a twisted look, some twisted words out of someone’s wife’s mouth and there they were, indistinguishable from the downright villains! Their own old mothers would refrain from pointing at the good work they did!
So they hit 40 and decide they want to make up for all the stupid efforts they have made to win – and keep someone’s heart, a good job position, a successful career, a thumb-up from a stranger.
What a sickening way to lose your most beautiful years! What a sense of failure this brings!
They feel in their gut that what they thought to be wrong in their early twenties might have been the seed of all the good they never had. Their bad must have been their right, all along! A new sense of joy, power and autonomy arises in their hearts. Finally, they found the key to success.
All 40-somethings try, in a way or another, to catch up with their initial impulses. Same mistakes, different clothes. Same distortions, different goals. The sad thing is that by trying to give their old mistakes a new, salutary purpose, they over-evaluate them. The outcome is not only disastrous, it is also ridiculous.
They will reach 50 in a state of disconsolation. If their good was wrong and their bad was also wrong, then where was THE RIGHT? Where was THE REWARD? What was the alternative life scenario that would have actually WORKED?
I believe there is never an “alternative” life scenario.
Failings and successes do not lie within the natural scheme of things, but within a (well?) intentioned scheme of supra-things. People of all ages should be told right to their face that the path they choose with their beating heart is rarely – if ever! – the „victorious” path. Because life itself does not „carry” any failings or victories. Because life is something else.
So when a 40-something comes to you asking for rewards or making indecent proposals, tell him to get a life.