07 April, 2013

To respect or not to respect your elders

We Indians are taught a lot about- Respect your elders. I do not know how this applies to other cultures and nations. So my this post is very specific to Indians and to people who are above 20 years. Not to small children.

I might sound too defiant. But truth be told. I do not propagate, "respect your elders" blindly. In the following situations when elders are wrong, DO NOT respect them. Stand up and speak against them. You will not be wrong. You will rather be right.
Do not show elders any undue respect if they

1. Abuse you- in any which way- verbally, physically, mentally, emotionally.
2. Nag you unnecessarily
3. Taunt you.
4. Have unrealistic expectations from you
5. When they just simply "want to be respected" for no rhyme and reason. Or just because they were born few years ahead of you.

In these situations, stand up for yourself, speak up, answer back (harshly if needed. Respect be damned).
First and foremost respect yourself, your integrity, your worth, the person who you are. Because only you are responsible for your own happiness. Do not let such elders (whatever the relation be), ruin you or your happiness.
Some of our elders are becoming control freaks. They either take the advantage of their age or their relationship to you. The more you "obey" them, the more they tighten the noose around you. They expect you to be docile and spineless. No. Do not be. Do not take any Sh..  from anyone, however elder he or she may be. They have to earn that respect and not command it. If they refuse to move ahead with times, you cannot be standing with them and let your time and opportunities pass by, simply because you were taught to respect your elders. If they cannot be humble, forgiving, modest, understanding, blessing, supporting, then....you know what to do. We all have one life to lead. Till when can you please such an elder and cause pain and agony to your own self?

By no means I am propagating being disrespectful, non caring, egoist person. NO. All I am saying is respect a person if he/she is worthy of it. Not because he/she is elder. And do not take negativity lying low and let it go.

*** Special note to elders, including my own self.

Younger generation these days is not wrong. You are. Stop complaining and whining. If you feel, that younger generation is not giving you, your due respect, try to find fault in your own self and not in them. They are not heartless, insensitive, insensible. They do want you, your love, care and your blessings. They are ready to bond with you. But if you constantly shun them, criticize them, control them, blame them, pressurize them, then they have no option but to avoid you.You need to be more open minded, more receiving and even more giving. Try to understand their view points and their stressful life. Appreciate their efforts. Try to be happy in their happiness. Give them your love and support unconditionally and without expecting anything in return. Stop being control freaks because no one likes and wants to be controlled. Express your opinion not your resentments. Stop sulking, frowning, stop being angry for no reason and expecting them to be subservient to you. They will not be. They need not be. Stop holding on to your past grudges. Be more forgiving and liberal. You respect them and in return you will earn their respect.