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Age shouldn’t grant you respect without question

Age shouldn’t grant you respect without question

Age shouldn’t grant you respect without question
October 17
16:00 2020

“Respect your elders!” A phrase society deems so important it continues to recycle it throughout generations today. However, I am here to tell society, age does not warrant respect and bad attitudes are bad no matter how many years come with it.

This is not meant to bash the older generation. We should all realize without them, the world as we know it would not exist today. That being said, older people are allowed to get away with a lot of things because of their age. No, I do not mean discounted prices and the good seats on public transportation but the overall lack of respect for younger people and disregard for how we feel.

The issue with immediately granting someone respect because of their age is it takes away from the weight that respect holds. When the phrase “respect your elders” is demanded from our parents at a young age, it makes it difficult to differentiate who actually deserves respect and who doesn’t. We learn it is okay to be treated unfairly by someone else all because their age forces us to do so. Ask yourself what have you allowed someone to say to you because of this outdated phrase? 

As Gen Z and Millennials, it is often thrown in our faces that we are self-entitled and lazy by our elders. Apparently, we don’t work as hard because our “plethora of opportunities” affords us the luxury of slacking. However, I believe any opportunity Gen Z and Millenials worked towards getting was by our own design. The fact we are more diverse, college-educated and gender-equal warrants us more respect from our elders.

This is the year 2020. Things look different from what they did in the past. Even though we struggle just as much as our elders, our plight looks easier due to technological advances and certain shifts in history over time. Younger generations cannot account for what happened in the past. We are just using what we have now to make something of ourselves just like our elders had to, so why should we be looked down on because we do so?

Age has become another artificial topic meant to control and manipulate younger people into submitting to the norms of others. It is yet another censor society has thrown into the mix of taboo topics and hushed conversations. The biggest issue does not necessarily come from having to respect elders but the blatant disregard for hearing what someone has to say because of their age. It is important to know automatic respect isn’t even respect, respect is earned, not through how many years you have been on this Earth but by actions that define your character.

We should pay attention to what our elders have to say because they do have wisdom we have yet to reach. However, age is not an indicator of a person deserving respect. Respect is gained by treating others equally and with kindness. The phrase “respect your elders” should not be used as a weapon to control a person’s opinions and genuine feelings. I know older people have definitely disrespected me before, yet I remained silent to not risk getting into trouble. Why is it okay for me to be demeaned while the other person walks away without knowing it is not okay to treat me with no respect?

As the world changes, we should start teaching those who come after us to respect every person. Racial division, climate change and bad habits all stemmed from older generations. If we had some respect for everyone, regardless of age or anything else, we could bridge the gaps of disconnect and make the world a better place.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

About Author

Jordan Allen

Jordan Allen

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3 Comments

  1. David
    David May 25, 16:00

    Print this out and keep it to read 30-40 years from now. You have NO way to know how you will feel at that point. Good luck to you, you are going to need it.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jen
    Jen June 26, 12:33

    Your article seems to be speaking the voice I have on this topic of equal respect regardless of age. Could not agree more with you – we have lowered the benchmark of the term ‘respect’ by creating boundaries around it that it is automatic and granted when we are older. As a fellow Zillenial, I cannot help but echo your sentiments, age does not warrant respect and our principles should be that we earn respect by showing the similar respect to others, regardless of age, background, religion, beliefs and personalities.

    Reply to this comment
  3. What!
    What! July 07, 07:57

    Wow. Whole heartedly disagree!!

    Reply to this comment

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