‘Learn to respect people elder to you!’ A very common thing that we were all taught right from our childhood. Especially in India, you don’t even take the name of the person(they are referred to as aunt or uncle, even though they do not belong to your family),but one thing that concerns me is it just the age that matters, or is there something else which makes you granted for respect?
What if a person is quite older than you and yet he so intolerant, disgraceful, uncivilised, rude and has no basic etiquette? What if he is a moron who disgraces his wife in public, even when she is innocent? What if he is a child abuser? What if she is cheating on her partner? What if… what if… and what if…. Should you still respect them just because they are elder to you!
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. He was my colleague but more of a friend, who left the organisation pursuing his bigger dreams. We were having a funny conversation – trying to pull each others leg, and then he was knowing the whereabouts of our colleagues and friends. I was telling him how things were going on after he left and our conversation stumbled over a couple of incidents and hence, directed to a person, who was an uncivilised maniac, whom I did not bother to respect (I was taking his name). My friend became a little serious and told me not to take names, but to talk with respect – by calling him ‘garu'(which means sir). When I asked him why, he said to me,”At-least give respect to his age! He is older than you! How can you just utter these things?” I was just pissed off with his statement – “Older than you! Respect him!”
True! We do want to give respect to everyone – both young and old! Its not that we do not care about people or mistreat them. We are all asked to respect our elders – but why? The basic reason is that people older than you are more experienced in life. They know a little more than you do. They have seen life ahead of you, they have been in more difficult situations and harder circumstances. They have passed your phase of life! They may probably know what you might be going through and may guide your path! If a person doesn’t possess the virtue of being an elderly gentleman, trust me doesn’t deserve your respect! Someone has mistreated you very badly despite knowing what you are going through, trust me he doesn’t deserve your respect! A person who does not bother to respect the other person’s intentions or feelings – trust me, he doesn’t deserve your respect! A person who mistreats others, don’t deserve!
“Respect is not something that is given out or taken in by compulsion! One has to earn it!”
One cannot claim or demand respect. Rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, your behaviour, your acts of kindness, your love and care, everything that defines you makes you worthy of being respected!