Posted in nonsense

What ever happened to respect?


Is it my imagination or are parents no longer teaching their children respect for their teachers, adult relatives, friends and neighbors?

I listened to a pre-teen this morning tell an elderly neighbor “Put a sock in it, old man!” I think that if those words had come out of my mouth twenty years ago, there would soap in it five minutes later. I would have been grounded until college and I am not that old either, I am in my early thirties. I was about to march over to the parents of that child until I heard my nine year old say “That was not a nice thing to say to a man that old. I would never do that.” Then, it occurred to me in five seconds flat that I would be wrong if I marched up to the child’s parents and put my nose where it did not belong. Maybe, I still hold on to the teachings of my parents about respecting my elders and I was passing that along to my children, but who was I to judge what other people taught their children? Perhaps, my old-fashioned upbringing wasn’t something other people my age were brought up in, or perhaps, they just did not feel the need to teach their children “respect.”

I understand that respect is earned and something we do not automatically hand to people. On the other hand, when I grew up, you always respected your elders, your parents, people in positions higher than yours, your supervisor, manger, religious figures, and plain ordinary people you deal with everyday – right or wrong – you respected people.

Well, that type of respect is not the norm these days and it is long gone. Is it my imagination or have we gotten ignorant, selfish, and irresponsible in raising our children with these morals or even having them ourselves? And when we mention that these morals out the window, we hear things like “things are different these days” or “times have changed.” Just because times have changed or things are different, should we stop respecting each other? Should we not teach our children to respect others or set examples for them to follow?

When was the last time you saw a teenager give up their seat for an elderly person or a pregnant woman? Is it my imagination or is this a dog-eat-dog world? What kind of a society have we become when we allow young people not to respect their teachers and elders? Respect does not go out of style, but what has happened? I am not just talking about one teenager; I am talking about the majority.

Today’s children and teens talk back, argue, are demanding and non-apologetic and we are blaming this on an evolving society. What’s worse is that adults (teachers in particular) are not entitled to demand respect; they are required to be friends with today’s youth in order to gain respect. We respected our parents, teachers, other adults, etc. and we turned out just fine so I can’t see any reason why today’s youth shouldn’t be taught to respect.

What happened to good, old-fashioned respect? It looks like it has gone out the window! Is it just me or am I just being hot-headed?

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4 thoughts on “What ever happened to respect?

  1. You'r not wrong, but I think you witnessed a particular vivid example of disrespect (the youngster telling the older man to "put a sock in it." That young person should have been rebuked; he wasn't, I guess, but I think that this sort of thing comes back to bite us later. The youth will one day find himself facing that same disrespect from someone else.I do think it's a bit of a stretch to accuse everyone out there of not teaching their children better than that. You obviously have; I did my best with my daughter and step-daughter, and I think that most parents do try, too, to teach their children to respect others.There will always be some people who just don't care and refuse to follow the Golden Rule. It's sad, but it's the way of things. But by following it ourselves, we give our children — and others — the best example possible.I hope your day is going well, Lana, and that you're feeling better. You've been fighting some pretty rough flares lately, and pain does color our perceptions. Be kind to yourself, OK?-Wren

  2. Wren,Thanks for view on this. I am not jumping to say that EVERY parent is not teaching their child respect, but I am seeing more and more of teens not showing respect these days and even adults. Maybe I am starting to sound like an old fart? 😦

  3. Oh, gosh. You're no "old fart." ;o) I agree with you that we do see more blatant disrespect these days than we used to; some of it, I think, can reasonably be blamed on simple rudeness, which is glorified on television, in some movies, and in games and often on the Internet. Yet all of these are reflections of our culture, which is always changing back and forth. Along with that, I believe that as we grow older and more mature, we start noticing the differences between how we were raised and how children "today" are being raised. Remember how the "older generation" were appalled by the hippies? The "generation gap"? It's that gap in experience and time living that makes us see such big differences between ourselves and the "younger generation," I think. I can hardly believe I just said that, since I was sure I would never criticise those who came after me for different ways of being. Yet I sometimes do, though I try to catch myself before I lapse into "old fartedness."When I first returned to the U.S. after many years in Germany, I was appalled at the way young people, particularly young men, would use the F-word freely in public spaces. I'm not prudish, but it bothered me a lot. It seemed terribly disrespectful, and it was. Those young people are in their mid-30s now — and probably wondering what happened to make the younger generation so degenerate.It's all human nature. Live and let live. It all washes out in the end.-Wren

  4. It's odd, I was just discussing this very thing with a good friend of mine over the weekend. It's not your imagination, parents don't have the time or don't want to put out the effort anymore. Most of the kids that my daughter is friends with act like her, but occasionally I would have to take something that she had forgot to her when she was in high school. It was unbelievable the way the kids act now as opposed to when I was in school. I still believe in the value of respect, that is one of the values that we raised our daughter with. It was nice when our daughter was still living at home and the mother of one of her friends would tell us how much they enjoyed having her over. That she was so nice and polite and would even help with the dishes or pick up before leaving their house. I made lots of other mistakes helping raise her, but respect was not one of them.You're right, it's not just the kids now days, some of the parents don't act much, if any, better than their kids.

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