Respect: earned, not given

There is a saying that suggests those who are older than us deserve our respect, unequivocally. It is something that we are taught from a young age and are expected to practice for the remainder of our lives.

There is some truth that exists in the concept of respecting authority, and in some situations, it is a given. People like police officers, as an example, are individuals to who we should freely give our respect because they represent the law. But the idea that those who are older than us, in a general sense, are inevitably deserving of our respect isn’t one I agree with, and I’m more than happy to explain why.

Respect is, without any doubt, something that should always be earned, as opposed to given, without question. When you really think about it, it doesn’t make much sense; if we don’t know someone who happens to be older than us, why are we obliged to grant them respect? Until this person exhibits reasoning as to why they are deserving of our respect, it should be withheld, in my opinion. They could be a lovely person, or they could be a complete dickhead. Until you get to know them, you really don’t have any inclination of what they are like as a person. So why would we automatically give them respect, simply because they’re older than us, if we know nothing about who they are?

Call me a millennial or what you will if you don’t agree with me. It is possible you read this and are labelling me as some entitled member of the younger generation who doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but myself; this simply isn’t true, but if it makes you feel better about yourself, run with it. At the end of the day, respect should always be something that is earned as opposed to something that is expected.

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