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A Generational Disrespect for Authority

Growing up, I was always taught by my parents to respect my elders and those in positions of authority. It made sense to me. Yet, the society around me seemed to be conveying a completely different message.

Television and movies especially portray parents and adult figures as incompetent, with kids actually running the show. As a young person, it seemed harmless and humorous, but as I grow older, I now see just how disturbing it is.

The value of respect has been lost — especially on our generation. The social molding has taught us we are best, and everybody else is a fool.

This is just a broad outline from observation. I know there are exceptions, especially here in the Midwest, where we place value on politeness. Yet, I can’t help but believe this condition has already afflicted our culture as a whole.

A perfect example is to look at how people treat the president. The man is the leader of our country, yet people make terrible, disrespectful remarks about him constantly. Regardless if you completely disagree with his agenda, he has been elected and deserves the respect. The people of America put him in this position, even if you personally did not vote for him.

It is despicable how little respect we as a society show to those with which we disagree. When did it become policy to berated other people if they disagree with you? Have people forgotten it is all right to agree to disagree. I have met “open-minded” people who are among the most condescending individuals you can find.

Don’t think this is solely a critique of our generation, generation X and Y. This is also a reprimand to those who taught us this behavior is acceptable. You can’t sensibly criticize a younger generation without examining those who shaped them. Responsibility doesn’t lie on one person; it is society as a whole.

It seems more people found it more comfortable to watch T.V. and identify with the dysfunctional family found in “Married with Children” rather than strive to love, care and respect each other like the Cleavers in “Leave it to Beaver.” Granted those examples are dated, but the point still stands.

Respect for others and for those in positions of authority is disappearing. People are ungrateful and find it acceptable to tear down others who have a different opinion then their own. Remember back in kindergarten when our teachers taught us about the “Golden Rule?” Treat others as you wish to be treated.

If we as a society adhered to that principle, we would see social change for the better. If everyone cared, there would be a lot less hurt going around. Simply put: owe no man anything except to love them.

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