Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just a Little Respect

I remember a time when we children were instructed to respect others.  As a matter of fact, I remember being in High School and being instructed to respect others.  The unofficial motto going around the school was "Give respect, Get respect."

I guess my question this time is, "Why don't older adults give respect to the younger generation?"

First and foremost, I know that this is a blanket statement.  Not everyone from the older generation forgoes giving respect to their younger counterparts, but from what I have seen, it is very commonplace.

Secondly, I have been raised to give respect to my elders, so I do that.  I always try to respect those who are from the older generations, and listen to their advice, because there are nuggets of wisdom in what they say.

The problem is that they refuse to give respect to those who are younger than them.

Am I wrong in expecting that?  Am I wrong to expect that they respect me as a person?  Is it not possible that I may have nuggets of wisdom which I have gleaned from my own life experiences which I may impart to them?  Or is it that I am (and coincidentally always will be) just a child who has not lived long enough to know anything?

What is it, then, that will enable me to garner the same kind of respect which I give you?

If you could not tell, I have lately been having issues with those of the older generation not showing me any sort of respect, even when I show respect to them.  It has been going on long enough that I am truly annoyed with it, and I am almost to the point where I will refuse to show them respect until I am treated as I deserve to be treated: With respect.

And by treated with respect, I mean:

  • Having my suggestions and comments seriously listened to.  I have heard you, after leaving the room, saying to others, "Don't listen to what he just told you.  It won't work."  Really?  And what do you know about innovations and the target market?  I have worked in that arena for many years and know the market very well, whereas you have no clue about the market and have never researched the market at all.  Please show respect and don't disregard my knowledge base.
  • Ask me.  Asking someone for something or to do something is, in my opinion, common sense.  Manipulation, asking leading questions, coercion, and inferences are not asking.  Those are all methods to coerce others to do what you want them to do, and show a COMPLETE lack of respect toward them!  Do you really thing it is alright to manipulate others into doing something for you is respecting them?  Even if it is something good, any form of coercion or manipulation is just plain wrong.

    Are we not worthy of being asked to do something?  Are you afraid that we will choose not to do it? All you are doing with coercion and manipulation is using guilt to get your way.  That selfish behavior is nothing short of repulsive, and it lessons the amount of respect I will show you, because I have a very difficult time showing respect for those who try to coerce me.
  • My priorities are my priorities.  If you ever ask me to do something, know that it will be done on MY time table.  My priorities are my priorities.  Anything that you ask me to do for you will be placed in my list of priorities and worked on accordingly.  That does not mean that your priorities will be placed at the top of my priority list, because it may not be that important to me.  It will be done when it will be done.

    No manner of coercion (see above point) will change the placing of your priority on my list.  If you try to manipulate your way to the top, just know that it will be charged accordingly.  If it is that important to you that your priority is done first, be prepared to either pay me to place it there (it would be a job, and I would charge it as such) or find someone else to do it.  Just because I am the first person there who is willing to help you does not mean that I will drop everything I have going on to perform your every whim.
  • Respecting others is common sense.  Respecting others is not dependent on age, financial ability, socioeconomic status, physical ability, mental capacity, material possessions, family size, portfolio, or anything else.  Respecting others is common sense.  Everyone deserves it - NOT JUST YOU!
For those of us who experience a lack of respect from those of the older generation, we will most likely not see any changes from the older generation, because they're old and they don't like to change - especially when they don't think it's worthwhile.  It is worthwhile, because we deserve respect.

So, since they will (most likely) not change, we must bide our time, for they will die soon, and then we will be the older generation.  And as we become the older generation, we must learn from those before us and treat our younger generation with respect so they will understand what it truly means to get respect when they give respect.

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