I hope you have met a man who has become one of those mellow seventy-year-olds. I’ve met a few, not enough really. It’s a shame we expect people in their seventies to be crotchety and set in their ways; it should be just the opposite. When you have met him, you know you have met a great person. He’s the real image of the grandfather or wise man, who can sit on the edge of the family and offer it security and caution. He doesn’t stifle others with closedness and rigidity, dogmatic political opinions, or an Archie Bunker worldview. Rather, he offers a worldview in which we will feel both safe and adventurous. Because most fathers don’t have that kind of grandfather around, they bear the whole burden of life alone. They end up eventually becoming crotchety grandfathers themselves, and move to a better climate to find the sunshine. We have to change this whole cycle. There has to be a different way. No civilization has survived spiritually unless the elders saw it as their central task to pass on wisdom to the young.
from A Man’s Approach to God – Rohr