What Happened to Respect for Elders?

Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother," a...

Does this look like someone deserving of disrespect? Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" Image via Wikipedia

I was at church the other day watching MensHealth practice forthe Black History Play. My objective was to enlist more people for my marriage kit interviews, speak to the leadership about my College Preparatory talk, and get my choir director on at the practice. I haven’t sang in any capacity where I could be seen or picked out since…well, that’s another post entirely.

I was having a good time performing my duties. I stood next to the shy singers and pushed encouraged them to sing out. I stood next to one particularly shy girl with a nice voice who didn’t seem to mind me goading cajoling her into singing out. It was a good practice, until…

That quiet shy girl decided that she didn’t want to come back for the next rehearsal. She wasn’t any good and she didn’t like being up there. Her mother was having none of this and told her she had to be in it. This sparked debate on whether or not a parent could make a child perform, and whether or not they should make a child participate in activities. My opinion on that is another post as well. The thing is, I saw several different instances of blatant disrespect for elders in the ensuing madness that made me feel embarrassed to be under the age of thirty.

Not only did more than one child get in its mother’s face, one hit the mother in question. If this wasn’t enough to make me cringe, one insisted on loud talking and yelling at his mother. When confronted by another mother, he told her “man, I don’t want to hear that; you let your kids talk any kind of way to you. I can talk to my mom any way I want.” The sad part is this “child” is twenty-two or twenty-three years old.

What has happened to people these days? I would never speak to an elder person that way, especially not my own mother. We weren’t born that far apart, but it feels like lifetimes. Things they do as a matter of course, I would never have thought about doing in front of or towards my own mother, and in a church no less. Respect doesn’t enter into it with young people today. They will stand in their mother’s face and tell her what they aren’t going to do. They will put their hands on her. They will talk back and refuse to be reprimanded. They need a whoopin’. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy fear to keep you in line until you can determine right from wrong. 😉

Furthermore, if you are not living in your own home, paying your own bills, taking care of your own self, and working at your own job, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. When you are able to do all this, you won’t want to disrespect your parents because you’ll see how hard it is to do for yourself, let alone for another person…an ungrateful “you never let me do anything,” hand always stuck out person.  

Parenting is a thankless enough job without even being afforded the modicum of respect you deserve from your own offspring.

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