With respect to “Respecting Your Elders”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life so far, that went against what I’d been taught all along, is this – that no one should respect ANY body merely because of their age. I’ll tell you why.

From the day a child starts to comprehend things, she or he is told to “Respect your elders.” I’ve heard that phrase so many times as a child, and I hear it even now, from parents to their children, from children to other children. But one thing is for sure, if and when I have children, I’m definitely not going to teach them this one thing. Because I don’t believe in it.

‘Respect your elders”. WHY? Because they’re older to you? Is that why? That isn’t respect. Respect is something you give to someone who earns it, not because they just happen to be older to you (no matter by how many years). Respect is something you treasure, and give to only those who are worthy of such a great thing. A person has to command respect, not demand it. 

Just because someone is old, doesn’t give them the right to put you down. It doesn’t give them the right to hurt you, or do and say wrong things themselves, or touch you in a way you don’t like. Just because some one is elder, it does not give them the right to disrespect you, and expect you to respect them- merely because of their age

I’ve been through some tough times in my life, just as everyone else has, and that’s one thing I have learnt. And I am unapologetically going to say – I don’t respect people, who ever they may be, just based on their age. I don’t care if they’re older to me. (That doesn’t mean I’m going to outright disrespect them or just not respect them at all. I am always polite and nice to elders.) I respect people the way I want other people to respect me – I’d like to be someone who earns their own respect by the things they do and the king of person they are, and not just because of age. 

So don’t respect your elders. Be polite, kind and well-mannered to them. And respect only those who respect you.

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