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– Probably because we haven’t been paying attention to the changes around us.

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I was recently talking to a friend who was commenting on some of my pet peeves, many of which he could relate to. Inevitably, he asked me why the world was so screwed up today. I thought about this for quite some time afterwards and believe I finally have an answer; it has always been screwed up, we simply weren’t paying attention. Let me explain…

As we enter the work force, usually in our 20’s, we’re full of vim and vigor. We tend to tackle assignments brashly, some would say recklessly or impetuously. Because we want to make a name for ourselves, we tend to knock down obstacles in order to reach our goals and be rewarded. What we lack in knowledge and experience, we make up for in sheer energy.

In our 30’s we’re still energetic but we become smarter as we gain experience in what we do. As we enter our 40’s, we tend to slow down a bit but think of ourselves at the top of our game.

In our 50’s, we’ve become fully experienced in our profession and life, and from this we become acutely aware of our limitations. It is then when we begin to realize time has passed too quickly and we finally start to recognize the changes in the world. In other words, in our youth we were preoccupied with starting our lives; so much so, we were distracted and did not realize the world was changing around us. As we get older, we slow down and suddenly become cognizant of the changes and ask why things aren’t the same as they used to be in our youth.

Our world is a big and complicated place. So big, it is impossible to stay on top of all of the changes going on around us, even in spite of the 24/7 news media. Changes come at us from many directions: politics, science and technology, the arts, competition, fashion, customs, public opinion, social issues, international affairs, and a wide range of changing laws, rules and regulations. However, change is so slow, it is almost transparent to us and if we become distracted, as most of us do, we don’t recognize it. Only after a few decades do the changes become vividly clear to us and by then, it is usually too late to do anything about them as we should have been paying attention earlier on. Suddenly we realize people are acting and looking different, particularly the next generation, that social and moral norms are different, and the world has changed.

So why do we get “peeved”? I think it is simply because we have suddenly realized the world is different and the status quo is unlike what we remembered from our youth. And we don’t like it.

First published: October 23, 2009

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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Tim is a writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

2 comments to WHY WE GET PEEVED

  • We get peeved because someone else has done something that has cost us, at a minimum, precious, irreplaceable, lost-forever minutes/hours of our time. Sometimes their actions have also cost us $$$$$$$$.

  • markscheel1


    Maybe too, we get peeved because we begin to see the same mistakes being made over and over. But, I think you have the “stages of life” pretty well figured out. Ha.


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