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On a scale of 1 to 10, how optimistic are you about your future? In that great mid-life crisis movie, City Slickers, Billy Crystal’s character Mitch attends career day at his son’s grade school. Mitch is anything but optimistic. His son had told everyone that his dad was a submarine captain, but he really sells advertising. The kids aren’t interested at all in what he does—and neither is he. In classic Baby Boomer angst, Mitch gives the kids something to think about. He tells the kids to

“Value this time in your life, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager, you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?" Your forties, you grow a little potbelly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale; you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering, "how come the kids don’t call?" By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call mama. Any questions? (From City Slickers)

On a scale of 1 to 10, he was a 1—he was a man without hope!

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