The Pope's retirement led Gautam Makunda to write that it's dangerous to allow the old too close to power:
Power itself has profound, and usually toxic, effects on those who have it. CEOs are so pampered that comparing them to babies is surprisingly illuminating. What is true for a CEO is, in this case, even more true for the men and women who lead nations and can literally have power over life and death. Over time this authority is likely to have profound effects on most people’s personalities. It would be remarkable indeed for any person treated with deference and pampering for years, even decades, to not be affected by it.
Lord Acton's maxim still holds true. Power corrupts. And the longer one has it, the more it can corrupt. However, as the current Senate controversy suggests, you don't have to be in power long to be corrupted. More importantly, while youth usually has vigor, it does not always possess wisdom. As proof, I offer the Honourable Pierre Polievre, who has a lot to say, but who says very little that is either useful or wise.
Polievre thinks in terms of categories, not people. He -- like so many of us -- has forgotten what Atticus Finch taught Scout:
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
To Kill A Mockingbird is all about walking around in someone else's skin -- not just the martyred Tom Robinson's or the feared Boo Radley's, but also the tragically ignorant Mayella Ewell's.
What matters is not whether a person is too old or too young. What matters is whether or not he or she is too rigid. Getting inside someone's skin teaches us to think beyond categories and stereotypes. We learn to see the infinite variety in nature and not to fear people who are not like us.
And, finally, we come to the realization that it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.