Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Respecting Elders

Seems to me like these days manners and etc. have just gone down the drain. I blame poor education. I remember how growing up in the Alabama public school system, every single day whenever we would exit the classroom we would use a different rule. For example, "First person hold the door for everyone" or "Hold the door open for the person behind you" or even "Boys hold the door for girls". In addition there were various etiquettes embedded into our daily routine. i had a second grade teacher who would ask "Would you mind a cookie?" This statement seems simple, but if you said "yes" as in "yes i would like a cookie", then you wouldn't get one because the question was if you minded it.

Being raised in an asian family also has impressed upon me the importance of manners. Mainly with respect to those older or in higher positions. It wasn't just my parents who would yell at me if I took a steamed bun before any of the adults had moved to take one, but other asian adults in the community would also harshly reprimand me if they felt that due respect wasn't being given. Once this lady asked me who my Chinese school teacher was. I wasn't too sure of my teacher's name so I hesitated before adding the mandatory "teacher" at the end. In that instant, she jumped on me and scolded "xxx teacher you must always add the proper salutation at the end, NEVER call an adult by just their name etc etc".

These days, kids think they're all that. They don't have an ounce of respect because they don't see a need to. They think that there's nothing for them to gain from others. And perhaps that's true. Perhaps they are eons smarter than the previous generation. But what they should be respecting is not how great the previous generation is (or isn't), but their efforts and hard work to get to where they are. They should respect them for being able to make it thus far in life instead of quitting half way.

I also blame parents for their children's lack. Parents these days are so obsessed with not hurting their "sensitive" kids that they end up holding no authority over their children. The kids end up thinking "if I do this, what are you going to do to me? nothing." I'm not saying that you should beat your kids until they're black and blue and have concussions from being slammed against the wall, but a spanking or two never killed anyone. Seriously. What is sending your kid to their room gonna do? That's not a punishment.

I have a prime example in my family. I was, well you already know, brought up in a way that I value manners extremely. My brother on the other hand was never reprimanded, and instead has to have his every move coaxed out of him. Any threats of punishment went forgotten. Now, I live with someone who constantly talks back and makes smart aleck-y comments either out loud or under his breath. He thinks that I get yelled at less, but it's only because I move to correct my mistake while he just sits there in sloth. Truthfully, if we looked at it ratio-wise I get jumped on like white on rice every time while he goes off scott free most of the time. What kind of world is it where a kid loudly calls their parent an "Idiot" to their friends on a cell phone just because they're too lazy to make a schedule of their summer plans that their parent has required of them before they go to the park (and thus can't go)? It's rediculous.

He also calls my parents friends by their first names, which to me is mind boggling, especially since he doesn't even personally know them. Truely a disgusting generation.

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