Where is the Respect?

Posted: June 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I was growing up, I was taught to respect my parents. I was taught to respect my elders. I followed the examples set by my Father and my Grandfather.

When we were out walking, if we passed a policeman, he would always nod his head, ever so slightly. I asked him why, he said he did out of respect for what they did. They put themselves in danger way so can live in safety.  They patrol the streets so we can sleep safely at nights.  He told me to always respect those people.  To this day, if I pass a police officer while I walk on the street, my head always dips as a sign of respect.

When I was school, we would always respect our teachers. When we walked past a teacher, it was expected from us to dip our head a little and touch our caps. It was a sign of respect and acknowledgement. I would never dare give lip to any teacher or any elder. The consequences for me, if I were to do so would have been severe. I would not get any money for comic books, my parents would tell me they were disappointed, my play-time would be curtailed or I would be given detention at school.

Heavens forbid if I ever come back with a note from school. I would have done anything to avoid walking home that afternoon and showing the note to my parents. While the school had netted out its punishment, it would be nothing compared to what I faced at home.  I felt abject shame at my behavior and I worked on understanding and modifying that which would result is undesirable outcomes.

I did these things when I was younger, it was programmed behavior and I never questioned why?  It was the norm and when you are young there is a strong desire to conform to norms. Little did I realize then that they were creating a foundation of values on which my life would be based: Respect, Humility, Love and Generosity. Most of these values had been instilled in me by the time I was 7 and they were reinforced through every day living.  Now they are second nature and part of who I am.

Somewhere over the last 20 years something has gone very wrong.  Kids no longer seem to respect their teachers or their parents.  I saw a 6 year old say “FUCK YOU” to his mum, and her response was “I don’t know what I am going to do with him?” I feel more for that child than the parent.  He has never been shown the boundaries.

How did we get to such a state?  I will try to explore the role of family structure, education systems, and society that led the current state in future blogs.

  1. carriej56 says:

    Well said! I raise my children to have manners which is something that seems to be severely lacking in today’s society! Here’s hoping that there is hope for the next generation, sadly however I fear that some of them may already be beyond help.

  2. carriej56 says:

    Reblogged this on Carrie J's World and commented:
    A sign of what has been and what could possibly be?

  3. […] Where is the Respect?. […]

  4. Congratulations on this great start. I want to support your assertion that our standards of civility have slipped but if you lay blame at the feet of teachers I will get on a plane, fly to the UK and bitch-slap you! 🙂

    • telcontari71 says:

      Well, TBH Teachers do have a responsibility but they are working within a framework that does not allow them to effectively teach, the framework is the issue. The outmoded methods of teaching to curriculum is the issue. Teaching with objective of preparing students to pass exams is the issue.

      The job of truly great teacher is to generate love within students for learning. Love for the subject, and provide them the tools. The students are bright enough to go and learn if they have the love and the tools. A teacher merely needs to inspire. The students can take over from there.

      A student should be judged on his ability to think, write, articulate, debate and communicate. The need to use their respective disciplines to master and solve the problems they face. The should be able to work well in groups as well as take initiative and leadership when required. But I digress from the topic at hand.

      However the biggest responsibility for children lies with the parent. Lack of parental responsibility is about 80% of the problem. The other 20% comes from society and education.

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