Respect Your Elders?

Growing up, you are always taught to respect your elders.

Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins older than you by 3 years, the nice old lady with the old candy and smelled like Moth balls… 

Didn’t matter. If they were older than you, you were to show them the UTMOST of respect. 

Ever notice that these people never quite showed YOU any respect?

You might not have noticed it when you were younger, but as you made your way into Adulthood, and eagerly anticipated all the responsibilities power that came with being an adult, there was something missing…


Not just from the younger kids (because lets face it, they have NO home training)  

but from Adults. 

Especially Older Adults (Senior Citizens and such) 

Earlier today, I was in class with 1 half of twelvin; She got the attendance sheet for me since we came to class late.

I was also talking to our professor about an assignment that was due this evening, and out of no where “Madea” came and asked for the Attendance sheet

I’m sorry, “asked” isn’t the correct term. 

I was looking for something more like “reached across twelvin’s body to get the sheet as she asked for it at the same time.”

As Twelvin tried to defend herself she handed me the sheet and I was getting ready to sign as the teacher was wrapping it up. Madea then inSISted that the sheet be given to her so she could sign it.

I would like to take this time to mention that no “peer” would have tried something like that; We respect each other, and know how to wait our turns.

Madea? not so much. 

Instead of starting a situation in front of our teacher (and going against home training) we yielded and handed her the sheet, keeping a close eye to make sure the sheet didn’t disappear to the other side of the classroom.

As Twelvin and I were leaving we both mentioned that if “Madea” was in fact our age, we wouldn’t have reacted so passively. 

Is it just us? I’m afraid not.

This evening as I was stalking people looking for funny Facebook Statuses, I came across this:

R.R. –  understands you’re suppose to respect old people but I’m sorry some of them deserve to be cursed the hell out…

Naturally, I was intrigued, so I decided to investigate…

the 2 gentleman who responded both agreed with the Original Poster (OP). 

the next friend then warned of being physically reprimanded for insolence smacked for being rude. 

As I read this status discussion, it made me wonder “Do older people lack respect ?” 

I hit the interwebs, and asked a couple good friends about this.

One person felt that 

 “the elders do, possibly because they think that they know everything due to their advanced age.

wisdom and knowledge are frequently confused

I never looked at it like that; confusing Wisdom and Knowledge

Another person felt that

” Generations don’t respect each other.. the old don’t respect the young and the young don’t respect the old. They (older generation) don’t understand the new generation and simply write us off as deviants.. not respecting or trying to understand us”

This seems to be a common theme that I’ve personally noticed; just because we’re younger, they automatically write us off as a waste of space.

Another Reader felt that 

“Since older people  had to earn it themselves, they just don’t give it out… I see that a lot especially in churches”

This was a REALLY good point. Growing up in church, I’ve personally noticed that the fancier the hat, the less respect they have for the young.

but WHY ?

I thought about maybe interviewing some older people about this; but… I’m afraid I’d have to end the interview early.

What are your thoughts? do you think older people have respect?

and if not, why not? 

Let’s talk about it.


3 Responses to Respect Your Elders?

  1. mellownmighty says:

    Well, being a Southern gal myself, I was always raised to respect my elders, no matter how crazy they acted. As I got older, and more confident in myself, I limited my respect only to those who respected themselves.

    The point I’m trying to make is that the only respect that should freely be given is the basic respect you show towards another human being. Nothing fancy, just be cordial and keep it moving. As you get to know someone, THEN you can actually respect them for who they are and not at just that base-level that should be extended to everyone.

    The only exception to this rule is if that person goes out of their way to be a jerk. Then they can DIAF for all I care…I’ll just have enough respect to call 911 if I get there in time.

  2. Old Man River says:

    I trell yoh wha yoh should reshpec yoh elerz… hoah on…

    Sorry, problems with my eDentures. you can get anything online these days. Listen here sonny. Weve seen the world and we know what were talking about. See, when your older then someone, you dont respect their point of view because you assume you know WHY they think that because youve been there, you supposedly know what theyre going through, and why. Unfortunately, what we sometimes forget as we get older is that as we get older, the plots of the younger generations will stay the same, but the story details will change. It can be a love story from 1950, or 2010, and itll have the same basics, as all love stories do, but its the details that change it, and thats what people my age often forget. You respect us because you want the younger generations to respect you. Its a never ending self-perpetuating domino line. They respected there elders, and therefore they want respect from anyone younger then them because they had to do it. The cycle is unfortunately coming to an end in this age of equality, as more and more people feel the same way as the mighty melon up there… give everyone the same respect once you pass the age of 18, and dole out more or less as time goes on… But when you get to my age, you wont like it when they 20 something year old kid doesnt listen to you.

  3. MellownMighty says:

    Valid point, Old Man River. The cycle honestly won’t end because the lack of home training spans all age groups and the only thing I ask is that people treat others the way they would like to be treated because I believe in fair treatment for everyone.
    Yeah, I know my ideology is unrealistic to most folks but I honestly think that elders do deserve the utmost respect because I owe a lot of what I know to my granny and the various older folks I’ve hung out with. The only time I disagree is when elders take it overboard and really abuse that respect that they are given by verbally and physically mistreating their youth.
    Sorry for the rant and if I have offended anyone, but I have a serious issue with unfair treatment and severe bias.

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