Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Can We Learn from the Grumpy Old Man?

Justin Ventimiglia and Keith Puccio were two teenagers who were looking for ways to pass the time during a long, hot summer in Missouri. With questionable parental supervision and the typical draw towards trouble that most teenagers experience at some point, the boys made the unfortunate decision to vandalize the home of their cranky, elderly neighbor.

The "punishment" for their juvenile prank was to get a summer job to pay for the damages. The boys spent the remainder of their seasonal vacation working long hours at the local golf course.

Thus begins the storyline for my second book, Finish Line.

We all have joked about the "grumpy old man" who yells at the neighborhood kids to stay off his grass. But, maybe the guy gets a bad rap. I think are some things that young people everywhere can learn from their resident grouch (almost every street has one!). Here are a few life lessons that only such a character can offer:

1. Appearances do matter. -- Whether we like to admit it or not, the people we meet every day do make judgments based on what we look like. A beautifully maintained lawn, like a well-manicured person, does make a positive statement.

2. Spending quality time alone is important. -- Loners don't necessarily seek friendship. Their private time may allow them to hone a skill, perfect a hobby, or become well-read.

3. Make sure you are insured. -- Any grouch probably knows he is the target of attacks by the kids who live around him. Having a good home owner's policy is critical for someone who needs to repair broken windows or re-paint siding on a regular basis!

What are some other life lessons we can learn from the grumpy old man? It's time to turn his reputation around and make him a teacher instead of an outcast!

No comments: