Amanda - Walhalla, South Carolina
Entered on September 26, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect

Respect is what most people in this world lack. Respect can be defined in many ways, but the one definition which appeals to me is showing regard and consideration for others. Having respect for others is one of my core beliefs, but to go further than that would be to have respect for the elderly. I believe that having respect for the elderly is very important; it shows that a person has good character. Respect is one of the countless traits that most people do not have, and having respect is exceedingly crucial in everyday life.

When I was growing up, my parents taught me to treat the elderly with respect and courtesy. I always followed those guidelines because I was always so close to my grandparents. I would sit and listen to their stories about the “good old days” and it interested me. I wanted to live in the world that they grew up in. They would teach me the importance of life lessons, not even knowing the impact their words would have on me throughout my life.

How the old generation grew up is very different from how we grow up today. Back in the old days, they were expected to use their manners by asking to be excused from the table, saying yes ma’am and yes sir, stand up in class when the teacher entered the classroom, and doff their hats to anyone older than them. This directly opposes the actions our generation portrays. What has the world come to when a young man doesn’t hold the door open for an older woman? Instead, he just lets it close on her and continues walking like she was never there. Or when an adult is still living at home with their struggling, retired parents, and is not helping out, but just being a burden and freeloader?

Just the other day, I saw a boy who was probably about ten years old. He was helping an older lady, probably his grandmother, carry groceries to the car. He was carrying as many as he could hold, leaving her with just the fragile eggs. I looked at him and smiled. A few minutes later, a teenager on a skateboard came by and cut a middle-aged man off while he was walking, almost causing him to fall, and then laughed about it. The ten year old set an example, but the teenager ruined what he was trying to do. Older generations should not have to demand respect; it should be natural for us to give the respect. Most people do not realize this, and if they did, they could teach it to the younger generations; to improve our generation and facilitating the younger generations to understand and act. You learn from mistakes that people before you made, and teach your children about mistakes that you made- adaptation. We could get the world back to the way that it was in the “good old days”. Disrespect has become the face of our generation and it is time to change that. There is no better time than the present. Right here, right now, it is time to make the difference, and give a little respect to the older men and women who deserve it.