A Matter of Attitude
Another of my dad's favorite pet peeves were people who complained all the time, but never did anything - or even suggested anything - to make things better, either for themselves or anyone else. He told me, over and over, "if you're going to complain about something, at least try to offer a solution as well, or your words are empty air". I've also tried - and still try - to do that, as well. That's a major reason I created this blog, and what a lot of my articles discuss. I've tried to suggest a solution, as well as complain about the problem. God only knows the vast number of problems that exist in the world today. There's a lot that "needs fixing". Yet the biggest industry that exists today is the hot-air industry - people making a living from complaining, yet never offering a single idea toward a solution.
There's the other group too, that can only offer the same failed solution tried before and found wanting. New ideas are difficult for narrow minds to generate. Many people fixate on an idea, and fear that any competing idea - or even information that might be difficult to square with their existing ideology - might destroy what little they have. Their minds freeze, and their intellectual capacity begins to deteriorate.
My dad never stopped learning, never stopped growing, up until the day he died. My mother was much like him, and I know they were happy together. There were always books in my house - dozens of books. I was surprised to find that many of my neighbors didn't read, had very little intellectual capacity or desire for knowledge. I also found they were people I grew less and less comfortable with as I grew older. Yet my grandfather wasn't much of a reader. He knew more about living, and how to live life, than any man I've ever known, and I never felt uncomfortable in his presence. He never stopped learning, either, but his 'school' was the world around him.
It's all a matter of attitude, whether you're open to learning new things, or afraid of it.