At the grocery store this week I overheard a mother and daughter talking about “rude old people.” The daughter felt people need to earn respect regardless of their age. My mom taught me to always respect my elders. I never questioned why. I have had some feisty older people in my life. I never disrespected them. I teased them, but not disrespectfully and those have been the best relationships I have had. I love my elders. They have so much experience in this crazy thing we call life. I love to listen to it; the good, the bad and the ugly. What do you think? Do you think elders should be respected even if they don’t respect you in return? Should we only respect elders if they show us respect? Let’s talk about it…

Cynthia Eugene Bustamante: “Whether or not elders are respectful, we should respect them because we are respectful. We only need to worry about who we are.”

Henry Shamdas: “Very well said!! Worry about who you are as a person. If they show disrespect, show them respect so others can see who the foolish one really is.”

Leon Gaytan: “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

Jose Carrasquillo El Padrino: “Respecting others old or young is a reflection of who you are and how you were raised. If the other person doesn’t respect you, you should respect them and not lower yourself to their standards.”

Jeff Hull: “Yes. Respect should be earned but also given. I believe every human being deserves a certain level of respect, especially those who have lived a long life. In my 52 years, I cannot compare my experiences to that of a 90-year-old individual. However, our elders also have a responsibility to give back that same respect. Given that they too have been respected.”

Thomas Mc: “Respect is not automatic regardless of age. Congratulations on getting old! That doesn’t make you special or wise in most cases.”

Robert Vasquez: “I will always respect my elders first.”

Theresa Morales Acuna: “I feel like we are considered the elders now.”

Lydia Curran: “Always respect your elders no matter what just keep your mouth shut and be nice especially if they are being mean or rude. You never know what’s going on in their lives so just be that one person who is going to show them a little respect and kindness.”

Feliz Flores: “You respect each other. Just because kids aren’t grown doesn’t mean you can talk to them like crap.”

Rick Carter: “Regardless of the elder’s attitude, tone of voice, or whether or not younger people believe they are being respected, you are ALWAYS to respect your Elders!!! Period!! You don’t know the pain, the sacrifice, how many “other’s” kids & grandkids they had to support or bring into line. That Senior is to be unconditionally respected. I’ll be 65 in May, so anyone who disagrees just try me. “I accept Reproaches Distresses and Persecutions in the Name of Jesus, for when I am weak, I am STRONG.””

Roger Reyna: “Seniors have plenty of experience in life and they can teach us about enduring change and handling life’s challenges. They have a great amount of wisdom and knowledge to share with us. It’s important for the younger generation to learn the significance of respecting elders by listening and spending quality time with them. We must treat our elders with respect, even if their bodies or minds are beginning to fail them. The elderly are powerful, creating the comforts that younger Americans take for granted.”

Gaitsiri Mongkolsmai Lin: “Perhaps it is based in the modern culture of freedom and entitlement, instead of the traditions in cultures based on history and respect. In my experience with East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures, the family is the center and forefront of everything that is important, even today. Asian people have respect for their elders, because that is how they came into this world. Their grandparents raised their parents. Their parents provided for and raised them. They were raised so they could take care of their parents when they grew up. This was expected to return the care they were given. Regardless of how they were treated as children, they were taught to be respectful and grateful for what they were given. They might be filial with reluctance, if they were not adored, there might be family problems, but there was little question about their responsibility to their family. I think in America a long time ago, kids were much more respectful of parents and more likely to help support them as they aged. Outside of the Native Americans, who are a minority, see how the Europeans who came here changed – those who fled here with strong desires for independence and freedom, in the pioneer days, how hard people worked and how much they gave to their families, see how the children gave back as much as they could. It is more about modern times, when people started having conveniences to make their lives easier, they started becoming lazy. Nowadays, kids have technology. These kids take things for granted. They take their parents, their house, their toys, their food, their school, shopping malls, cars, roads, for granted. They lack respect for the hard work their parents have to do to continue the way of life they have. But, this is not everyone. There are still families with respect and hard work. There are still families where giving back to their parents and grandparents is at the heart of their desire to earn their living. The reason why we see a lack of support is because there are those that are too self-proud or else ignorant, and feel they have earned it all on their own. Good people who have come from nothing and built themselves up know what they have and give back to all that helped them get there, only the troubled ones think they did it alone. The latter is an ego problem. The former is a blessing that teaches us that nobody does it alone and we have to respect every situation in our lives and every person for making us who we are. The concept is that when we have something, instead of holding it tightly in our fists, we open our hearts with generosity to give it back and pass it on.”