Should You 'Respect Your Elders' Even If They Don't Respect You?
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

Should You 'Respect Your Elders' Even If They Don't Respect You?

The phrase "respect your elders" tells us that those who are older than you, often with authority over you, deserve your blind admiration.

Should You 'Respect Your Elders' Even If They Don't Respect You?

Sometimes I'm shocked by how people treat their parents.

Growing up, I might have slept over someone's house or gone for a play date, and I'd overhear my friend talking back to her mom or giving some sassy remark. With that, my then 10-year-old-self nearly choked on her own spit.

Even now as I enter adulthood, I'm always taken aback when I hear someone talk back to their parents or grandparents in any disrespectful way. Despite this, I know I shouldn't be.

Everyone's situation is different. I can't be sure how a mother treats her daughter when guests aren't over, and the iced tea and fruit bowls aren't out on the table. I certainly don't know every interaction occurring between two people, and the history leading up to a fight or a rude comment isn't downloadable (Black Mirror, anyone?).

Perhaps after years of that mother treating her daughter like something lesser, deserving only contempt, that rude comment was warranted.

Because I don't know the history, I am careful not to judge. However, some believe that a daughter should never talk back to her mother and a son never to his father. Whatever combination takes your liking, "respect your elders" is a phrase many of us have heard on more than a few occasions.

We've been taught that no matter the circumstance, you should always respect those that came before you, whether that be parents that mistreat you or simply older strangers that disrespect you.

Respect is something that should always be earned, no matter the age, gender, or other trivial characteristic of the person in question. Yet the phrase "respect your elders" tells us that those who are older than you, often with authority over you, deserve your blind admiration (disregarding any disdainful behavior). Meanwhile, you have to earn any respect you may or may not be afforded.

Whether you're five, 35, or 105, respect needs to be earned. It shouldn't be something that is given for free because of your age or social standing.

When it comes to someone who is considered to have authority over you, who is wiser and more experienced, don't respect them because of the year they were born. Respect them for their ideas, guidance, and intelligence.

And if your elders don't respect you, and treat you poorly due to your age, remember that its not your responsibility to respect them due to their age and cater to a crooked, ignorant rule long past its expiration date.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!


The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.


At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments