Last weekend – as December’s chill gripped our coast - we watched and warmed to a veterans’ tennis tournament televised from the Royal Albert Hall.
It was game, set and match to former stars who showed the value of maturity and experience. What a winner those qualities would prove in other aspects of life, like families, business and politics.
Although played with competitive edge, there was wisdom and humour in the Statoil Masters event. Even John McEnroe had mellowed – well, a little - while our own Tim Henman had filled out and developed a personality.
The ‘oldies’ didn’t waste breath on complaints or over-exertion when the odds were against them. Instead they took their winners when available and made the most of their advantages. All this was done with consideration to opponents and awareness of what was best and most entertaining for all.
How much better the world would be if we encouraged veterans in every sphere. Some old people may be foolish but, undoubtedly, were more stupid when young.
The Bible’s fourth commandment is to respect parents – coming even before not killing, let alone coveting neighbours’ chattels. But today’s problem families are led not by grandparents but callow youngsters regarding handouts as their right.
This lack of sense is sadly found through society. Youthful leaders cannot see they are repeating old errors. All that is new and radical is construed as finest - but how disastrous that arrogance proves!
We now have career politicians with no experience in industry, the professions or wider world of commerce. They don’t lean on the experience of senior civil servants but instead appoint equally young consultants on public relations and image grooming.
The same wayward path has been taken in local government. Once a worldly town clerk guided councillors, who themselves had succeeded in other walks of life. Now, as in the health service and corporations like the BBC, there are thrusting middle managers promoting themselves but losing sight of a common goal – public service.
Even our Press has taken an unwise turn and risks its freedom. Fortunately, this newspaper, at least, still employs some older heads!
Wisely returning to tennis, my own game might be slower and weaker now but technique and guile help compensate. I even enjoy it more.
As knowledge comes from experience, one pleasure is telling the young where they’re gone wrong – if they’ll listen.
You better not take that away from older ‘uns or else . . .
What else can you look forward to?
Books by Roy – including his latest light thriller set in Lytham St Annes - are available online and in stores. Visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for full details.