“You should learn to respect your elders.” his father told him in a stern tone.
“But, aunty was being unreasonable towards me”. He protested.
“Stop it. She is older than you. You don’t say such things about elders. Have we not taught you this?”. He almost screamed.
“But…….”. He stopped after looking at his father’s expressions.
He was hurt. He was hurt to disappoint his father but he was hurt more because he felt unheard and disrespected. He couldn’t stop thinking if only elders deserve respect?
He is one of us. He is another victim of the so-called rules of respect followed for generations. Apparently, there are certain roles, relations, and financial statuses that deserve the most regard. We might be in a modern era but somethings have followed us down here in 2020 too. There are numerous daily examples that cause damages at the individual level due to this vicious cycle of respect.
◾A child is forced to be nice to everyone (guilty of doing this). Sometimes to an extent that with the time a child loses his ability to judge according to his own instincts and just quietly keep “respecting”.
◾A teenager has been molested by one of the respectable members of the family for years but she couldn’t say anything because she feared it would be disrespectful to say something against him.
◾Talking about sex education, menstruation, and puberty changes in the family were considered a taboo. The kids learned it from the wrong sources. Now the family is trying to save its respect.
◾A girl’s dream of higher studies was crushed under her grandparent’s wish to get her married soon. The parents were respecting the elders and they didn’t realize the harm they did to the person with her own heart, soul, and desires.
◾He was sharp, energetic, and full of ideas until he switched to a new company at the start of his career. His new boss didn’t believe in considering junior’s ideas. He was ridiculed in front of the whole office for proposing changes in a new project. The company later lost that same project as well as the self-esteem of their employee.
◾He always loved the magic of different spices that come together to make a delicious meal. His passion for cooking grew with age. When he excitedly shared his decision of perusing a chef career, he was reminded of the only few noble professions that are respectable. Later in life, he was neither a good chef nor any in other professions.
◾They brought the dead body inside the house full of people. She looked at her mother. Everyone was crying. She was crying too but she could feel the calmness on her mother’s face. Her mother was at rest now. Her mother doesn’t have to fear anyone. She doesn’t have to listen to those harsh taunts. She doesn’t have to prove herself as a good daughter, wife, daughter in law, and a mother. She doesn’t have to compromise on her self-respect by respecting the most honorable (or horrible) relations.
A person dies gradually from inside after respecting the pre-defined rules of society and disrespecting his own self. Everyone deserves respect. Parents, children, elders, youngsters, rich, poor; these tags should not define the eligibility of respect but only the individuality of a person.
Let’s be a generation who listens and evaluates the matters rationally rather than with a fear of “it was not common in our time”.