…..I love how my first post back is a damn rant. Please still love me after this one :)…..
There’s the age old saying: “Respect your elders because they have wisdom you can learn from.” That is something our parents have drilled into us since we began to consciously retain information. While I can appreciate the meaning behind this, it’s not entirely accurate. Actually, I straight up call bullshit. Just because you are older than me, doesn’t make you wiser and therefore demanding of my respect. It doesn’t mean you possess some sage advice I can learn that will help me along my way.
Your age alone will not coerce any additional respect from me, but I will congratulate you making it as far as you did.
Don’t take this as some senior citizen bashing post. I’m not one of those people who believe in the revocation of their discounts and special privileges in society. I like actually enjoy some “ol’ timers”. They always have wonderful stories to share.
It is well known in my circle that I am highly intelligent. My mom says it makes me “not teachable”. I sincerely hope you do not believe this. I don’t think my intelligence makes me “wiser”, but it makes me more open-minded. As if being able to learn an abstract concept with incredibly ease, I can direct someone through some life obstacle. No, no, no. I know the difference. Being smart is not a substitution for observation. I am always open to learn more. Ready to have my point of view challenged.
Or challenge someone else’s.
We, as kids, are taught that admiration is due to those that surpass our age because of what they can teach us. What if they have nothing to teach us? Are they still due that same privilege? What if they did nothing their entire life? How can they have any valuable wisdom? Consider they are younger, but have seen and accomplished more by comparison. Why aren’t they due that pre-allocated respect?
Amount of experience should be the main factor here, not amount of time breathing.
A first generation immigrant who was a Vietnam War veteran previously homeless and now has a family and business has more wisdom to offer me than a retired office worker living on a pension. That immigrant has seen more and done more. There’s plenty more room for me to learn.
Understand my thinking?
Or how about this. An “ethnic” example..
I’m going to show more respect, in the context of valuable experience, to a person who made it out of the ghetto and became productive rather than someone who spends their entire life as a drug dealer.
The problem with the way it is passed down now is that, some seniors are total rude asswipes and then fall back on the “respect my age” concept. This is where I call bullshit. Respect is so much more than how old you are. It should be, or rather how I feel it should be, based on your generosity, your demeanor, or willingness to help another fellow human being. How you respond to other people or how destructive you are.
Most importantly, if you respect others.
Why is just accepted that the older generation get special respect allowances because of the possibility of containing knowledge that may or may not benefit me that I may or may not receive? I say scrap that concept and let it be even across the board. Take what experience you have and put it to the side. Take admiration for your time here. Every year you walk away from the Reaper is still a feat in and of itself. Then let’s give you respect, or not, for the person you are and what you deserve. Then let your sageness be the bonus. Otherwise, that one-way requirement is cheating.
Eh, just some unwarranted quick notes. I’m Buddhist, I practically love everybody hahaha.
Til next time. Stay frosty.
..After The Jump..
Hey, buddy, welcome back! Yeah, it’s still frosty here, you could have left that somewhere else! 🙂 Good point in your essay and I agree that respect should be “across the board” to all people. Every human, the drug dealer, the senior citizen, the homeless person, the differing enabled, deserves and is worthy of respect. I believe we need to practice this simple kindness more as opposed to judging others by a certain “standard” that is open to interpretation and may or may not be applied equally. Much love and naked hugs, man! May we all “defrost” a little? LOL!
I like the theory of an “across the board” type of evaluation. Unfortunately it’ll be hard to implement for everyone to follow. Customs are customs and habits are habits and mindsets are mindsets.
p.s. I missed your “Much love and naked hugs” haha