When I was younger I thought old people were nice, harmless even, like they had to be. Why, I don’t know. I believed I should be respectful and deferential toward them too, like I had to be.
My belief started to shift when I had several senior people as neighbors. At first I assumed they were nice, but in time saw that these particular people were better described with words like selfish, mean, gossipy, and unpleasant. I realized they had probably ALWAYS been that way, or for a long while at least. I remained respectful but in this instance, deference had to go.