At what age are people the nicest?

I was at the gym today trying to get a workout in (escaping the almost 100 degree heat) and I was noticing that a lot of people were on the cranky side. This probably due to how hot it was, but it was definitely a lot more noticeable today (the crankiness).

I then started thinking to myself at what age, or age range are people generally the nicest? My wife and I had this discussion once, and we both agree it is folks older than 60 who are the most pleasant. While I was at the gym, our local “Silver Sneakers” group was there working out. Almost without exception, every one of them will look up and say hello if you are on a machine next to them. Their heads are held high, and almost always these nice folks have a big fat smile on their faces. Many of these seniors are battling health problems, but they are still really pleasant and nice to be around.

On the flip-side, my wife and I both agreed that the 20-somethings are the least pleasant, or nice. This is a very general statement, of course, and there are certainly always exceptions to this, but we have both noticed that this group rarely says “please” or “thank you” and rarely holds the door open for you, or smiles. My wife and I both remember being in our 20’s and we remember that it was a very stressful, and uncomfortable time. Most 20-somethings have recently been thrust into the professional or working world, and have cut the tether from their parents. Many of these young folks are also starting families, and I would imagine they are also financially vulnerable. I guess they have an excuse to be more self-absorbed.

Seniors seem to have the attitude of “I’ve gotten past all of that, and I’m still here, so why not make the best of it?” Many of the seniors I see seem to be re-learning how to enjoy life, and to slow down a bit. I have taken many cues from people older than me lately, and by slowing myself down and appreciating the moment, I seem to be smiling a little more lately.

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