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Lack of Respect and It's Hurtful Nature

Biblical days saw respect for the elderly and older ones of the family. Today, we see a decline in the family unit; especially their care.

The Example

The following in a posting that appeared on a well-known social (in this case - unsocial) website. This posting is a great example of how the lack of respect is running rampant in today's society. In the case of this example, I personally know both sides of the story, so can see the entire picture. But, for whatever the reasons these things have occurred, this type of public lack of respect is uncalled for completely. It shows, not only the lack of respect, but the lack of ability to make good decisions when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. For those offended by vulgar words, I apologize in advance, as this person continually uses them throughout the comment.

"It's a vary sad day when you feel you HALF TO disown some of your own family for the good of the rest of your family!!!
We were supposed to be there for each other, love each other, help each other, care about each other! I damn well tried! For years i let you walk on me! For years I let you push me around but no more!! No longer will I let you manipulate those who love me! If you don't like how I'm living MY life you don't go around talking shit you do what you can to make it better for everyone involved cause that's what family is suppose to do! Honestly I think the way you live your life is wrong, you say one thing and then do another!! So when that one morning comes around and you wake up wondering why it is none of your kids, grand kids or grate grand kids talk to you anymore, all of this plus what you have done to them is exactly why!!!! But no ones seems to have the balls to tell you! Well here I am no longer in the shadows but yelling it with all my might!! Fuck off and die, stop trying to take what little I have left!!"

Respect - What is it really?

One dictionary defines respect as:

  • High or special regard - esteem
  • The quality or state of being esteemed
  • expressions of high or special regard (deference)

Going a step further, another reference explains:

The giving of particular attention or deference to one judged worthy of esteem; a recognition and due regard for a thing or, especially, for another person, his qualities, achievements, office, position or authority. To manifest respect is to "honor."

So, in plain language, it boils down to treating others in a peaceful, calm manner thus not causing contentions. It means that we are imperfect humans, all subject to mistakes, but realizing this and continually forgiving each other. We treat with regard those who are older, whether it is our relative or neighbor; those who enforce the laws of the country we live in; and anyone else for that matter!

Not too many years ago, there were the basics we learned as children. There was a time when men opened doors, pulled out chairs and removed their hats inside. There was a time when children obeyed without questions, didn't talk back, didn't yell at their parents or anyone older than them and gave up their seats for the elderly. There was a time when anyone in the presence of an older person, referred to them as "Sir" or "Ma'm", allowed them to go first through doors and gave up their seats if needed. There was a time when everyone said "Thank you", "Please", "Excuse Me" and a few I've forgotten!

These were common courtesies that were used in the daily lives of everyone. Those were happier times, because people knew exactly what to expect and how to react. I'm not that old, and one of the things I first noticed about my future husband was that he opened and held doors, pulled out my chair in the restaurants and insisted that I was treated with respect.

Teaching Young Ones Respect Early

Teaching young ones about love and respect is the answer.  This 5 yr. old is helping his Great-grandfather build a handicap ramp and enjoying doing so!

Teaching young ones about love and respect is the answer. This 5 yr. old is helping his Great-grandfather build a handicap ramp and enjoying doing so!

So..without it, what happens?

When people fail to show respect for others whether it be their family, law enforcement, schoolmates, etc., their world starts to crumble. Are they making life miserable for others? Yes. But in the long run, who are they really hurting? Themselves.

People who have no respect for others, lack respect of authority and shirk responsibilities as well. Most end up in jail, broken homes, jobless and a host of other problems, but if they have children - children who won't respect them! The writer of the comment above has suffered all these problems and more. This person lost her children due to drugs and neglect, then failed to even attempt to get them back until the State was in the process severing parental rights. After almost three years of this, the State returned the children, even though the children didn't want to go. Even today, she has recently been arrested and convicted of assault and domestic violence, and this doesn't touch on the parenting skills still lacking. All of this could have been solved by showing a proper respect for everything. This person is angry at the world, and unfortunately, people with no respect have a great tendency to blame their problems on everyone else instead of accepting them and dealing with them accordingly. It's called personal accountability.

The Solution?

Is there one? Is there a way to change the society we live in to include the morals and values that include these common courtesies that once were held in high esteem in our lives? Respect and mutual respect. Once destroyed, it's like trust. It's very hard to return, but it is possible.

A good marriage mate will treat the other with respect. Parents will treat their children with respect. In turn, children will treat others with respect. But beware, if children don't see their parents and others being respectful, they won't either. Divorced parents have it harder because guess what probably broke them up in the first place! Lack of trust and/or respect. Divorced parents therefore, have to work harder to prevent their lack of respect from contaminating their children. But do it doesn't take long for children to learn bad habits but even longer to overcome them.

Another area for showing respect is in Table Manners. Families that eat together are showing respect for the family arrangement. It's a time for enjoying each other, sharing thoughts and training your children in manners. Have you ever been in a restaurant and wondered exactly how the wild animals eating next to you were allowed in the restaurant? Not just the children...the adults too! How much nicer it would be to have a pleasant surrounding to eat!

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In conclusion, we need respect. It's gives us self-esteem, meaning, joy and all the other feelings and emotions we seek for a happy life. When we are treated disrespectfully, it scars deeply. We often 'get over it', but the scar is still there, especially if the one doing it still hasn't reached that point of accountability.

Be good to your family....young and old. Remember, if the old folks weren't around, you probably wouldn't be either! They've lived much longer than you and have learned from the mistakes you are probably making now. Talk to them. The same applies though to the young ones. Children are little sponges, especially before 5 years of age. They learn by watching, listening and acting. So, if you have the opportunity to be with children, take the responsibility and train them properly.

The society we live in needs lots of help. Changes come through the family. Changes come through you accepting and giving respect to all others you come in contact with in your daily lives.

© 2013 MaggieMarie M


Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on January 18, 2020:

Our tour group had a discussion on this recently. We are all seniors and when we were young, we were taught to respect people and in particular those that were older than ourselves. Now that we are older we don't get the same respect. One woman in her 70s related how she was riding a bus with an 80 year old friend and all the 20 somethings were on their I-Phones in their seats while she and her friend stood. No one offered her 80 year old friend a seat.

I approached a check out counter in the supermarket only to be almost mowed down by a 30 something racing to get ahead of me with his cart. When in line he turned to give me a cheesy grin. Honestly, I wanted to wipe his smug grin off his face. But I was raised to respect everyone.

Dawn Rittenberg on July 14, 2017:

Is it possible for anyone to answer my questions regarding my fears for my Son with his future Mother-in-law?

dumolid on June 26, 2016:

Have you ever been in a restaurant and wondered exactly how the wild animals eating next to you were allowed in the restaurant? Not just the children...the adults too! How much nicer it would be to have a pleasant surrounding to eat!

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Johnk527 on September 14, 2014:

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Elizabeth Mara from New Hampshire on March 03, 2013:

Hello, MaggieMarie! What a great hub! You have geat observations of both the problem and the solution. I love that you include table manners in your hub! Ihave indeed wondered about the 'wild animals' in the neighboring booth. I think disrespect creates a slowly sinking spiral -- my anger or selfcenteredness cause me to disrespect the family, friends, and coworkers who surround me; they withdraw from my toxicity; I finally get to the point I must reach out to my community or I'll go under; I find that very community does not trust my intentions; and then I find reason to be even angrier and more selfish. I hope I have the courage and compassion to interrupt this cycle when I see someone reaching out to me, even if they are in a place of pain. An attendant problem is how to respond in a way that respects humanity, even broken humanity, without allowing them to harm me? For such a simple issue, respect invokes complex and wide reaching themes and relationships. Thank you for such a thought provoking hub. Well done!

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