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Why Has the Elderly Lost Society's Respect?

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."-- Robert Browning

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."-- Robert Browning

I remember when the elderly in our society were well respected. When people held doors open for older people and when senior citizens were thought of as wise and insightful.

People looked up to them as someone who have been around the block a couple more times and therefore they held a certain level of knowledge in their life banks that society thought of as useful. I remember holding all my teachers in high regard and having great respect for most of them. Sure there was some that I couldn’t stand but for the most part I respected them, sometimes respect born of fear but nonetheless respect. Especially the older teachers who were so intuitive and wise. Now my question is when did this stop? It seems every generation that comes up in the world has less and less respect for our elderly. I am not trying to make a generalization here, I am well aware that there are many people who respect their elderly, but I am speaking of the ones that don’t. Why don’t they? And what happened in their life that they don’t see why this is wrong?

I experienced something the other night that set this hub in motion. That I would like to share here on hub pages and maybe others can give me some insight as to why situations like this happen. Here’s what happened:


I was at the grocery store the other night getting some things. I was ready to check out at the register and this young man around 24-25 years old came up behind me and didn’t get in line all the way, he kind of just left his basket close to the register and then went to look at something. In the meantime, an elderly lady, around 75 years old got in line in front of him. I guess she didn’t realize that he was in line. This guy came back to his basket and preceded to ask the women why she got in front of him. He said, “hey lady why did you get in front of me, my basket was here and you took my place”? I looked up and saw his face was red with rage and the women was kind of shaking and looked up at him like she couldn’t really understand, perhaps she couldn’t hear him very well being that she was older, so she just kept putting her things up by the register and didn’t reply. Then I heard the young man again, “Hey lady, I am talking to you, why don’t you understand that you got in front of me, I cannot believe this shit, this old lady got in front of me”. Finally, the next lady at the register next to ours turned to him and said, “sir, I can help you at this register”. He just rolled his eyes and said, I cannot believe this shit”. The woman looked at me and said in a very weak voice, “ I don’t know what he was saying, I didn’t mean to get in front of him”. I told her not to worry about it because he was a jerk.

I wondered why she was even out at this late hour by herself. I wondered if she even had anyone like a family member to take care of her or help her as she didn’t look like she was in very good health; she looked kind of frail. I felt empathy for her and felt bad that I didn’t lay into this guy. But being that it was a late hour and this guy was so mean, I didn’t really want to start anything with him myself. But I did make it a point to watch the lady as she got to her car so that nothing happened to her.

So this is the basis for my question. When did respect for the elderly stop? What has happened in this young man’s life that he wouldn’t allow an elderly, frail, woman to get in front of him in line. Why did it anger him so much? I realize that some people’s core values are not as apparent as others. Maybe he never had anyone to show him respect and how to give it. I realize also that certain cultures, holds ethics and values in a whole different level. That what is important to one person isn’t as important to another but what kind of value system does a young man have that he had so little respect for an elderly lady at a grocery store at a late hour? Something so small as a courtesy of letting someone cut in front of him was something that irritated him to the point that he could’ve resorted to violence? The young man walked away as though he was wronged, and I guess this is what bothers me most of all.

I felt sad for humanity that day and maybe I am making too much into this but am I? I mean lately in the news we hear about the elderly getting beat up by gangs of teenagers that don’t have anything else to do. Eighty year old woman are getting mugged and beat down in subway and bus stations. Homeless people are getting set on fire just for fun. So you tell me am I making too much into this situation? I think not.

I do know that karma is a bitch and this guy will get his somewhere, sometime; I just wish I could be there to see it.

Some of my hubs

  • Raising a son that happens to be gay
    When I was 18 years old I happened to get pregnant by a boy that I was dating at the time. He was a bad boy, I was into bad boys then. I thought they were fun, exciting, and exhilarating and boy was I wrong...
  • The Rare Pearl
    For many centuries pearls have been highly valued as objects of beauty. The word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, very fine, very admirable, and very valuable. This is the description that I give to my mother; she is a rare pearl


ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 03, 2014:

Thanks for reading....I understand how you must have felt being told that. Of course he should have just let that go and not said anything. Who knows why people do and say the things that they do,especially to elderly. Glad you have a good atitude about it... cheers!!!

babblerem on July 31, 2014:

It was a lovely sunny morning so decided to treat myself to breakfast and coffee at a nearby cafe. I ordered and crossed the road to buy a couple of newspapers (can't drink my coffee without one!). Because of painful arthritis in all my joints and having had a hip replacement op. plus, I am told, a mild stroke, I can't walk far and despite the help of my dad's old walking stick I can't negotiate a pavement step without something to lean on for a couple of seconds. I've had several falls because my balance is affected and don't want to be a nuisance to kindly ambulance workers.

I often admire some of the gorgeous cars parked in the road (BMW's, Mercedes Benz and so forth). I could not afford a car but am a fan of TV shows like 'Chasing Classic Cars'. With papers in hand I leaned slightly for all of 2 seconds on a gleaming red car outside the newsagents and crossed the road. As I entered the cafe a young man said something to me. I said, 'Pardon ?' and he said, with a scowl on his face, “Thank you for using my car as a hand-rail!” I am slow on the uptake and mumbled something ineffective like 'Sorry, I like admiring the lovely cars in the road'. Not having my hearing aid with me I was fortunate, I believe, by the look on his face, in not hearing what else he said to me.

I went to my seat, but returned to him and blurted out “Wait until you are 88!”

Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps he was just trying to show his blonde girl-friend how macho he was. Perhaps elderly people, particularly silly old women like me should banish themselves to a Care Home where they will be out of sight and won't be a nuisance to anyone except the Carers and the tax-payers. By the way, I can't do that as I am the sole carer for my 60yr old autistic, disabled son who lives with me!

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babblerem on July 30, 2014:

Some people just hate we oldies don't they? Being a sunny Saturday morning I decided to treat myself with breakfast and coffee at a nearby cafe. I ordered and crossed the road to get a newspaper (can't drink my coffee without one!). Because of arthritis and having had a hip replacement op. I can't walk far and despite the help of my dad's old walking stick I can't manipulate a pavement step without something to lean on for a couple of seconds. I've had several falls and don't want to be a nuisance to kindly ambulance workers.

I often admire some of the gorgeous cars parked in the road. With newspapoer in hand I leaned slightly on a gleaming red car outside the newsagents and crossed the road. As I entered the cafe a young man said something to me. I said, 'Pardon ?' and he said, with a scowl on his face, “Thank you for using my car as a hand-rail!” I was slow on the uptake and mumbled something ineffective like 'Sorry, I like admiring the lovely cars in the road'. Not having my hearing aid with me I was fortunate, I believe, in not hearing what else he said to me.

I went to my seat, but returned to him and exaggerated by blurting out “Wait until you are 89”.

Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps he was just trying to show his blonde girl-friend how macho he was. Perhaps elderly people, particularly silly old women like me should banish themselves to a Care Home where they will be out of sight and won't be a nuisance to anyone, but just an expense to the tax-payer.


ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on June 01, 2014:

Very interesting comment thank you!!

Darcy Allen from Maryland, US on May 30, 2014:

I think that it is because of the breakdown of communities, and the view that the elderly are a burden and not a blessing to our families and community. There is this unspoken idea that because the elderly don't work, that their contribution to society is done, and that they are more or less "worthless". So many old people are sent away, institutionalized, to live the rest of their days with other old folks, away from the society that they gave life too, unable to really contribute and take part in community life. We like to pat ourselves on the back for making such "nice" 65+ communities, when in reality we might as well be sending them all to prison, for the amount of interaction they get with the outside world once they are institutionalized.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 26, 2014:

Savvydating you are so right. I applaud you for sticking up for that elderly man. Im sure he will never forget that. And you are right to be outraged as this problem seems to get worse everyday. cheers to your courage.

savvydating on April 26, 2014:

Blatant disrespect of our elders is shameful, to say the least. I remember being a ticket handler for an event. An elderly man was in front of a very young man. For whatever reason the young man began jostling the older man a bit. The older man asked him politely to let him get his ticket and to kindly give him a little space. The young guy then said something extremely rude. He may even have used foul language. All I remember is how disgusted and outraged I felt at the younger man. I then refused the young man entrance as he had not bought his ticket yet. I told him he had no respect and that he was not welcome here. I then called security to back me up. The sad part is that security let the young man through. I was lived, but there was nothing I else could do. I then apologized to the elderly man for his trouble and told him I would gladly back him up if he chose to complain.

More people have to stand up to bullies who think they can roughhouse the elderly and the homeless. Rude people like the young man you wrote about and the one I confronted make me angry. Frankly, I think there is a lot to be said for righteous anger. People should not be allowed to get away with abusing the elderly. Period.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 08, 2014:

Thanks irish shrew for leaving that well thought out comment and i completely agree with you. We live in a society now where people over 40 feel they have to apologize for their age and its a shame, cuz as you stated older people have so much left to share... cheers!

Ro from Midwest on April 07, 2014:

We have surely failed these last generations of -protecting, respecting, and cherishing our elderly citizens. When do I think it started? The 60's. I embrace the liberating movement in the 60's toward women's independence, awareness of sexual harassment, equal rights, etc. It obviously, paved the way for a black president. But it did something else. We got so caught up in the 'me' generation that we seemed to have forgotten about the past generations. They were held in contempt initially, and then gradually- a joke. The comics mainly use senior citizens as fodder toward punch lines, Florida jokes from Jon Stewart. Not only from the past, but the present; we have the entertainment industry focused on the youth. They are the money producers. So anyone over the age of 35 is virtually-Old. The 60's also gave us rapid technology. With technology we seemed to have spawned voyagers from the next generation; Thus, promoting new thought, new ideas, and new discoveries. Senior citizen were lost in the mix. Their clear and thoughtful contributions toward future generations were no longer expected, requested, nor held to any regard. Too bad for them, I learn so much when volunteering at a Veteran of Foreign War- post. If only our youth could lay their ego down for a few minutes and talk to a senior citizen. The computer would pale in comparison....

Ashleigh from Australia on January 24, 2014:

I'm still in my early teens, studying Chinese as a second language. I have very ... disrespectful and racist classmates, whom have shown no gratefulness or patience with our elderly Chinese teacher. Only a couple of other friends in my class have shown the respect that this awesome individual deserves for putting up with this behaviour. I look up to people who can put up with the assholes in this community .

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on October 12, 2013:

Charles i agree with you respect is a two way street and believe me i have encountered those rude seniors as well, i mean there is good and bad in everyone. I just mean that i believe theres more people like this woman in this hub who get dissrespected and alot more than they should. I mean when kids cant even show their parents respect they are not goona have any for anyone else much less a stranger in a grocery store who accidentally cut in front of them....i know where you are coming from but im talking about the truly innocent ones and the abuse that they go through....thanks for taking the time to read and comment i enjoyed your input..cheers!

charlesochoa on October 10, 2013:

I found this small hub by accident. But let me start first with the basics:

Yes, undoubtedly some people have lost respect for the elderly without a cause. However, you also have the elderly who for any reason feel entitled or worse, have this mentality of "I can treat you like I want whether you deserve it or not, but I am exempt from that simply because I am old". Why is he more important than I am? Why would I respect, or honor, someone who feels like my dignity is not allowed to coexist along with his? I am not saying all old people are like this, but plenty of old people feel this entitlement.

I am 24 years old, I understand I should respect my elders and I do respect them. However, when they show immature behavior best left to a 5 year old rather than an old, wise man/woman; I have no reservations in asking for some respect. Again, just because a person is old, it doesn't mean there is this magic barrier of "you can't touch me because I am old and I can treat you however I want to" because, society works based on the respect you give to others.

Just this night I was having a conversation with an elderly, retired man over Facebook. Simply because I showed him how he was wrong in a comment he made he started typing obscenities and trying to make me feel bad. And this also happens at my line of work as I work for technical support. Do you really think that's proper behavior for an older person? I understand I should be patient, but like everyone else, I also have my limit, and disrespect and lack of common sense and wisdom are it. I still treat them at first like individuals who have to be respected but when they show they think and act in an immature way just because of this sense of entitlement, that's when I don't hold any respect.

In other words, respect for the elderly is fine up until they show that they are just like everyone else who is disrespectful.

clineshaunt on September 25, 2013:

Hello. I think there are a couple of wrongs at work. I think when you have disillusioned younger generations who's wages are dropping, experiencing high unemployment, and many who work hard but are getting nowhere and at the same time constantly getting berated by older generations as lazy, self entitled and so on, it desensitizes the younger generations to the point where they feel they can't do anything right and the natural reaction is to lash out. I'm not in anyway saying this is correct behavior because it is not. I myself am guilty of this. I used to work in retail as a manager and day in day out getting attacked by older generations about not knowing what I was doing, blaming me for things out of control (unfortunately, younger generations didn't do this near as much), plus corporate crap, I got desensitized and had no issue taking it out on the older generations. I thought, you've never done this job before so what do you know about it? I thought too, what gives you the right to come in here and act like this? Then there's the hard work lecture. I knew that those generations, adjusting for inflation of course :), made more money than me, had pensions, had far better health care and I felt that a lot of people my age worked every bit as hard as them so I took it as an insult and disrespectful to be lectured by older generations about hard work. My friends and I had jobs in high school, plus had a job, and played sports. It seemed too many times that I got the "You should've done this" or "You made mistakes here" all based on assumptions without asking any question. Not to mention they lived in a time when the interest rate on savings accounts was astronomically higher. I was an office manager at a bank and an elderly woman was telling me "You're generation doesn't know how to save....and so on." I asked her about savings when she was younger and heard all about the 4% interest rate in her day. I told her the current rate was .1% and to put in perspective her interest rate was 40 times higher than the current rate. You get tired of hearing it after a while. I know longer work in that environment and am a much different person. I'm not saying these problems are the older generations fault. It's important to remember that the older generations, Baby Boomer WWII, lived in a time when Unions protected the workers and looked out for their wages, benefits and pensions (I'm not trying to ignite a debate about Unions :). Unfortunately there will always be mean people, but problems need to be solved at the source. I think the older generations should make some attempt to understand what younger generations are experiencing while the younger generations need to show some understanding and patience to the older generations lived in a different time and might not be fully aware of the impact of changes on the younger generation. When both sides are firing off assumptions from the hip and carrying generational pride, people are just going to get angry and lose respect and that will not solve anything. Sorry this was long, just my opinion.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 29, 2013:

Reality I agree with you on all points my friend. And I know what you mean about some seniors who aren't very nice. I work with a couple myself and have also encountered some very cranky older people, but like I said in an earlier comment, I cannot judge them so I treat them the way I treat everyone, I do not sink down to their particular level so I hold my tongue so as not to have regrets later on. Every situation, every person are different and we can only go by what is happening at the moment and not make a blanket judgement. In this particular case a frail old lady should never have been treated in this matter no matter how many old cranky seniors we come across, and no matter what is going on in the world. I agree that the world in general is getting more disrespectful...(I have seen teens yelling at their parents in public and it makes me cringe). Its a crying shame that that is the way the world is now. I appreciate your comments and thanks for listening to the rantings of a middle age crank lol.......Cheers to you.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 29, 2013:

cfin thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that there are some very cranky old people out there and who knows what has happened to them in their life to make them that way, and that is why we cannot judge. Great advice about the visits Im sure it would make their week. Cheers.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 29, 2013:

Levertis Steele appreciate your commenting on this my most read hub to date. I totally agree with what you say about the nursing homes. I have seen many documentaries on the subject of nursing home abuse and it really breaks my heart. I wish that as time goes on people will keep talking about this so that maybe change will come. Thanks for reading...cheers.

RealityTalk from Planet Earth on August 28, 2013:

I have noticed what you have noticed as well, but it is not limited to a disrespect for the elderly. It is a general disrespect for all people and the elderly suffer from this as well.

Quick background on me. I am a 56 year old father of a 17, 14 & 10 year old, happily married for twenty years. I am an attorney who practiced from home all these years & who raised all 3 of my children from diapers to school while working.

I respect all people, young & old, male & female, educated & not, etc. I still cannot help but acknowledge with a friendly smile & hello every priest & nun that I pass despite being a realist/Atheist. And I hold doors for everyone.

But common courtesies seem to have vanished in the last couple of decades. I have lost much respect for the elderly myself. I have had many run ins with rude, cantankerous, self-centered elderly men & women. There are exceptions & that is why I still approach all under the assumption they will be nice & courteous until they prove otherwise.

I believe our culture has evolved into one where the individual & winning has become more important than the group & enjoying the game. Children are raised to be better than all others at the expense of all others. The heroes in our culture are now nasty rappers, outlandishly dressed & badly behaving entertainers, crooked politicians, self-centered corporate leaders, spoiled-far-from role model athletes and money driven religious leaders. Our culture has no tolerance for anyone that gets in our way or has nothing to offer us monetarily, fame-wise or career wise. What can you do for me now is most important.

A little modesty. A little humbleness. A little understanding of others. A little caring for others for no other reason than they need our help. These are the qualities that are lacking in so many & why I believe you are here today asking a valid question. The solution: treat the elderly & all others as if each one of them was the most important person in your life. And, maybe what you do will catch on & others will do the same.

cfin from The World we live in on August 28, 2013:

A good few many people I know are racist, homophobic, bigoted and just plain rude. Its sad to say that the good ones have to suffer.

I always believed that as we go through life we are surrounded by many fake people. As we age, we notice that these fake people find it more and more difficult to keep up the charade. Nearing the end of their life they become bitter, cranky old people as their friends around them pass on. For me, it is important for people to understand that not all old people are like this. Just like people of all ages, a huge amount of old people are bad people, but not anymore than any other age group.

People need to care for their older family members and if the old have no family, pay them a visit, send them a letter or even just say hi for 5 minutes :) It might make their week.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on August 28, 2013:

Nursing homes are some of the main places where seniors suffer abuse. Privacy is fine, but cameras, monitored by designated personnel, or an outside agency (medical personnel), should be installed in rooms, restrooms, dayrooms, bathrooms, and other places residents frequent in order to see what is happening to these poor souls and cut down on the crime.

More elderly are being placed in nursing homes because their children and grandchildren are living in a world that demands them to work. Living off a small piece of land is no longer an option for making a living. As life changes, people must change the ways they do things.

This is a subject that needs much attention. Well done!

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 27, 2012:

I can see this one's going to run and run, like 'Dad's Army' over here, about the WWII Home Guard at 'Walmington-on-Sea'. It was a popular series about 'have-a-go' ex-WWI servicemen and a youngster too young for active service. The antics they got up to would have creased the Germans up, rather than defeat them on the battlefield - which might have been just as good in the circumstances (and more economical in terms of ammunition). What's lacking is community spirit, and self-respect (as I've already said).

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 27, 2012:

So sad Joe. Cheers.

Joe BloggsUK on April 27, 2012:

Latest one that I have read is yobs in Newhaven UK stoning the lifeboat as it was leaving on a "shout". Perhaps they wanted to trash the lifeboat so that people would be left to drown. These yobs ought to be birched.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 26, 2012:

Joe thanks for reading my hub and Im sorry to hear that about the uk I guess it is everywhere. I guess there are a couple of generations past that didn't have any respect shown them by their parents or peers and this is the result. Cheers.

Joe BloggsUK on April 25, 2012:

This is an excellent hub and I regret to say that things are very similar in the UK. For a typical case see You Tube "Scotrail no ticket". In this clip the ticket collector who appears to be aged over sixty, is given abuse by an eighteen year old who has no ticket.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 25, 2012:

Merlin Fraser has some good points in his analysis (I went that far back), nevertheless there are other issues at play here in attitudes toward the elderly. As someone else pointed out, self-respect - or lack of it - plays a lead part in bullying. In a balanced society we would give everyone their space and take our turn, but it isn't and we don't... At least some don't. It might stem from self-pity, but it doesn't excuse gross behaviour towards those now more dependent on others than they might have been.

There is also an issue amongst the elderly that they expect respect come-what-may. You get respect by your bearing, and then again we're all products of our environment. Some have never seen respect, know how to earn it, nor ever give it. Plain and simple.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 19, 2012:

I agree with both you Joe and harpqueen it is a very sore spot with me. I appreciate your input. Cheers.

harpqueen on April 18, 2012:

I wouldn't have that "young man" get away with abusing an elderly person like that . he got out of line . if i had been the store owner i would have had security kick him out of my store for harassing her . he should know better than to disrespect his elders . that's why we have spaces reserved for the handicapped and elderly . they go first by law . i hope he gets sued someday for harassing the elderly .

Joe BloggsUK on January 27, 2012:

This lack of respect for Seniors is also prevalent in England where the young regard the old as "old farts" (i.e. useless retarded people only useful for their property which can be burgled) One huge difference between the USA and the UK is that over here there are no guns kept at home. This is great for burglars who have no scruples whatsoever about looting ones property. In this way they can bypass decades of work and being thrifty. Even if the are caught they are seldom punished and in many cases they just receive a telling-off (its called a Police Caution) There have been reports of persons committing in the order of seventy burglaries before being jailed which IMHO is disgusting. When ones possessions are rifled through and stolen the house no longer feels like a home. Its as if it has been soiled, one thing is sure, it will never feel the same again. Why should people have to move house? It is the burglars who should move to jail.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on September 28, 2011:

gmwilliam and leann thank you both for taking the time to read my most read hub...Leann you are right it is sad when society treats senior citizens like second class citizens because as you said they are treasures. The one thing Iremember the most in beauty school was the older clients that we serviced.They would love to taik about their life and their grandkids and they would also get so excited for their appointment everyweek, Im sure that most ofthem really wanted adult company and I had a wonderfultime spending that time with them. I heard lots of stories about their past and it was very interesting and I always looked forward to it immensly and like you said, "they are a wealth of experience and we certainly wouldn't be here without them....thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on September 28, 2011:

gmwilliam and leann thank you both for taking the time to read my most read hub...Leann you are right it is sad when society treats senior citizens like second class citizens because as you said they are treasures. The one thing Iremember the most in beauty school was the older clients that we serviced.They would love to taik about their life and their grandkids and they would also get so excited for their appointment everyweek, Im sure that most ofthem really wanted adult company and I had a wonderfultime spending that time with them. I heard lots of stories about their past and it was very interesting and I always looked forward to it immensly and like you said, "they are a wealth of experience and we certainly wouldn't be here without them....thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers.

leann2800 on September 27, 2011:

It is so sad that society does not realize what absolute treasures are elderly are. They are a wealth of experience and we certainly would not even be here without them.

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 20, 2011:

To ladyjane1: Excellent hub. I totally agree with you.

Brandy on August 08, 2011:

I do believe that the elderly should be respected but I also believe the youth should be respected also. I remember growing up that the older adult(before they became elderly) would be verbally abusive and always had something negative to say about youth even though they were young at one time. I believe in the golden rule “treat others the way you want to be treated”. That rule has nothing to do with age…yet the elderly act like they should be entitled to respect when they themselves don’t give it. The question is what type of seeds do we sow as middle aged adults to receive disrespect from the youth. Before that person became “old and frail” how were they in their youth? I tell you that I was talking to a neighbor and her daughter got into a fight with another neighbor’s child and do you know what she did? She cussed that child and called him fat and ugly and continued to belittle this child. It is sad to see us abusing the youth and then questioning why they are rude towards the seniors. I have heard of seniors spitting and kicking the young people that care for them. I don’t believe moral teaching should be one sided. I think that is what is wrong with the American society. We get mad at the people who get pushed over the edge but not at the people who instigates the outcome of a negative reaction. Case in point we get mad at man that hit his woman but not at the woman who beat on him first. I was abused physically and emotionally over the years from the older adult even though I have healed from those wounds that was afflicted on me in my “weak young years”, I learned the value of the golden rule and try to make headway in being positive and respectful to everyone because one day I will be old and I would want the respect that I gave out to the young generation. I have met seniors who had beautiful spirits and good relationships with the youth because of how they treat them and in turn the youth is respectful to them. I tell you it is a beautiful sight.

RAmona on July 27, 2011:

National Grandparents day is in September. Celebrate by reading The Wooden Bowl - El bol de madera

tanya on July 04, 2011:

there should be respect to elder as they are a storehouse of knowledge and experience

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on June 06, 2011:

visionandfocus and Eric thanks for your support and for contributing with your comments. Cheers to you both.

Eric Sinclair on June 01, 2011:

I think its because elderly people are the weakest and easiest to take advantage of. They pose no threat. I am only 21 years old but i am an expert on history and over the past 30 years the U.S had deteriorated from a society of respect into a society of greed and strong vs week. I can see the same thing in other areas of the population. Can you imagine someone in the 1950 openly saying a hard working police officer, teacher ,or even factory worker was overpaid and didn't deserve to make a decent living! Yet today we see it in the news everyday! We now have a society that pics on the weak. The elderly are cast aside because they are useless in this power game of strong against weak.

visionandfocus from North York, Canada on May 31, 2011:

It's poor (or non-existent) parenting. Your behaviour is a reflection of your upbringing, full stop.

I really don't think culture (in the sense of race) has anything to do with it. But culture in the sense of modern/'pop' culture, more than likely. When the media glorify mean people, when reality shows are all about ganging up on weaker members just so you yourself get ahead, when it's 'cool' to ostracize those who are different from you in any way (high school movies, anyone?), we're sending a message to our kids that it's not only OK to beat up on the weaker members of society, it's actually normal and even funny. A sad state of affairs indeed.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on February 03, 2011:

Pamela you are so right, thanks for stopping by and for the great advice. cheers.

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on February 03, 2011:

Respect for elders starts at home. Our children learn from example, if we teach them that seniors aren't important and not worthy of our time they will in turn not have respect for us in old age.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on January 28, 2011:

lontach thanks for visiting my hubnugget hub. This hub really did touch people in such a way that they really voiced their opinions whether they agreed with me or not. Anyway, Im glad that you arent like that fellow in the store, you seem to have much respect for your elders and that is good because some young people do not ever think that they will ever be an older person but they have to realize that time goes very fast my friend and they will be there one day themselves and hopefully they will encounter better people at grocery stores who pay them more respect than they did when they were young. CHeers to you and congrats again.

Iontach on January 26, 2011:

Woah, that is certainly a sad story...Don't want to sound wimpy, but my eyes got a little watery.

I don't know why people can be so negative towards the elderly, they are just so lovely and friendly.

I remember two days ago I was in hospital for a check up, and I was hoping somebody would talk to me in the waiting room. Then this lovely old lady came and sat beside me and began talking to me for ages about her life and her grand daughter. We had a lovely conversation that really cheered me up.

I then went to get the metro to go into the city and at the metro stop another elderly lady called Maire began talking to me. I again had a lovely conversation with her and we even ended up going shopping together! lol!

She was lovely and kept on talking about Irish history, I learned a lot!

I'm certainly glad I was not in that supermarket you were in when that man began harassing that woman, I have an awful temper and I definitely would have seen red, big time.

Karma will definitely bite him in the ass, if it has not already. And like yourself, I'd love to be there to see it.

Nice insightful hub Ladyjane! :)



ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on November 09, 2010:

ahorseback good to see you again and I know exactly what you mean. I am from the old school as you put it where we respected our elders and would have never thought to talk back to someone older. Nowadays it seems kids love to find any reason to go off on their elders. I just wonder how these kids were raised and how this generation of kids fell through the cracks. I guess their parents were too busy being politically correct that they do not know how to discipline anymore. I am always amazed at how I hear kids talk to their parents sometimes. I remember when my kids were teens and I got the occasional eyeroll but they never dissrespected us in our home EVER and it would break my heart if I saw them dissrespect an elderly person in public. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting as always, cheers to you.

ahorseback on November 09, 2010:

Ladyjane , Gretings , I have been in homes and around people that just plain have no manners or respect for anyone, Sounds like you were raised , as I was , in the old school . It really bothers me to see this as I believe that its where we are all going wrong. Manners , ethics , good character traits are on the way out in our culture. I may have lost it on this kid or man in the store , maybe thats what they need. Respect for the elderly was just a plain given in our day, but today its in decline. I "Jokingly,tell my wife , we need a cleansing in America , A plague , a meteor strike or something. But we need it bad.....Great hub.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on November 01, 2010:

dramatis I do believe you are right. Thanks for giving your opinion and reading my hub. Cheers.

Kera from USA on November 01, 2010:

I think we have each generation not respecting anything, even themselves. The Boom generation has a large number, so hence less respect. But I don't believe many people respect much these days.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on October 10, 2010:

dgicre thanks for reading and for your insightful comment. The elephant was a great example that even in animals the lack of authority is missed in society and will have consequences. Cheers to you.

dgicre from USA on October 10, 2010:

Just another sign of the times we live in, our society used to value family above all else. Now it seems we have become a society that values money and the material thing that it will buy. Our kids are raised by day care centers while both parents work to make the boat and huge house payments. Parents just don't have the time to teach kids empathy for the elderly and animals as well. Kids are cuddled more than ever before and taught from an early age that there are no consequences for bad behavior. Strong discipline and spanking is no taboo and we are living with the results of our actions. When I grew up if I would ever sass anyone elderly it was met with a quick slap across the mouth. I learned to respect authority from an early age.

There was film on 60 Minutes once where baby elephants were raised with no bull elephants in their herd because poachers killed them for their tusks. When they grew up and became juveniles, they carried on, wrecked havoc, and became a terror to the rest of the herd. It was not until a new bull elephant was introduced back into the herd did they quickly calm down and mellow out. Why? Because the Bull elephant did not put up with them and quickly put them in their place.

As humans we can learn something from the elephants, cuddling only works so far and at some point we need to assert authority and teach our children lack of respect for others is not an option.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 05, 2010:

Francine I guess there are rude people everywhere we just cant get away from it and its probably gonna get worse. The fact that so many people were in agreement that the old lady was in the wrong just proves our point. Its really a crying shame. This hub really hit a nerve with people and the majority of the comments thank goodness were positive. Im glad that you are the kind of person that was upset by this because it says alot about your character. Dont change it for anyone. Cheers and blessings.

Francine on August 05, 2010:

I got onto my computer and googled “why Americans are rude towards the elderly” and I’m glad I got through to this website.

I just got a cultural shock few minutes ago. I was at Rite Aid and I let this 75 year lady in front of me who was breathing heavily slowly moving her groceries. This guy behind me started shouting that his baby was hungry why I thought I had the right to let someone in front thus deciding for the entire line. I asked him to go ahead of me, he didn't want to because he thought he didn’t have the make a decision that will affect the people who were behind him. While I understand his concern and respect for the people behind the line, I just couldn't believe all that rudeness. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I turned to people behind asked if they minded me letting the old leady go before me (there’s me expecting rolling eyes like just let him go, he’s a jackass) they all said, well she should've joined the line just like everybody else. I shook my head in disbelief. What has become of this place? My first encounter with what I've been warned as 'rude New Yorkers'. I come from Southeast Europe and we respect the elderly (well most of the people do) so after witnessing this tonight, I left the shop literally shaking. I shouldn't say this, but I really do hope that guy grows one lonely old man because I doubt his son will be raised with proper values and manners to be there for him to show love and affection.

I’m glad there are so many people out there who feel the same way as I do that children and the elderly need our support and care.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 31, 2010:

gigi you are so right someone dropped the ball somewhere and when kids do not get the attention they need they act out in different ways. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers.

@Gab I understand what you are saying but these smart kid that are not submissive to authority certainly have paretents and grandpartents and they should think if they would want their family get treated this way. Is a shame I dont think you have to go through extensive training to be kind to an old woman. Cheers.

@chris thank for reading and for your opinion cheers.

Chris on July 31, 2010:

The bond between the elderly and their adult children is to seek, or non existant. But the real reason is the wrong values are the ones passed down. Adults give wrong behavious to emulate.

Ask an adult what his moral values are. Be patient. It's going to take a while. The adult has to think real hard to find some.

I found out they want to promote euthanasia of the sick and old people, now. They have a cute euphemism for it. They call it the right to die. Sorry to kill your fun,but that so called right, you already have it. In fact, you cannot decide to live forever. Won't work. Your body mechanics does not work like that. In fact, there comes a time when it stops on it's own.

And quite a few people in the medical peronnel are in favor of this euthanasia thing. I said to that nurse: " Fine, we will know exactly what to do with you when you will become sick. You should have seen the long face the instantly put on. She did not think euthanasia would apply to her! Ha! People are soooo.... stupid. They don't think further then their ass.

When people have a hard time to be nice with their own family members, respect for strangers will soon be out the door.

Gab on July 31, 2010:

Respect. Wow! What a big word. And what does it mean? Serously, that word has been used in such a maner that it mans something different than it should.

There can be no respect, it you have no consideration for the person in front of you.

People are mistaking submission for respect. I did see this in school wiith school personnel. They want submission, not respect. Sorry but you won't get submission from the really smart people and the bold ones.You won't get it from the wimps, and there is alot of those. Many pretend to be submissive, but they dispise those who demand submission. They simply quickly learn to be good hypocrites. What an education system. And it teaches nothing. When you have an average of 58% to 60% failure to graduate high school in the country, is there anything worth respecting in the school system? I think not.

The Bullying is learned in school. The disrespectful behaviour is learned from other kids and from the teachers. Oh.... Ya.

You respect what you admire, You respect what you want to emulate, you respect people who show you kindness, support, and a model to emulate. There is not much to emulate in our schools, in our leaders, in everything else.

Kids learn from what they see, and who do they look up to? Adults! It's monkey see, monkey do.

And then you have to tell them what is right and why. Oh... You mean, you mean...we have to explain what to do, what not to do, we have to tell them that being mean is not the right thing to do? But it's so much fun to see "Johnny" beat up little Luc, the third nabour when they get off the school bus...

Well, yes it's sick but that's what you've got to work with. It starts early folks. And it goes on. Then it's Oh, look at this! The old guy over there! Shit! He's slow! If only I could be less of a wimp boy would I send him rolling in the trafic with his wheel chair. Not very nice.

Then it's Nursing home personnel who give the old geezer all kind of hurtfull treament from neglect to down right physical injuries. It sucks! I know. And this is the worse kind of abuse that goes on in those places. So if you have relatives in those places, go visit them. If you find anything suspicious, report it. Where? Physical injuries, or dehidration, (An elderly can die from this) , or starvation beause of lack of care, retaining pain medication, serious mismanagement of medication, all this can make a good police report.

Get involve.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on June 17, 2010:

AnonGuy you nailed that pretty good and I agree with you. I know that old isn't cool and when you are a young person you feel miles away from being old but they have to realize that those miles come quicker than they expect it to and they should treat people the way they would want to be treated when they are old. And I bet they wouldn't think it would be cool if someone treated their grandma like that. Very good answer. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

AnonGuy on June 17, 2010:

Hello, well as a "young dude" myself, I can say society does treat them pretty much as invisibles. The problem with the kids is the idea that old people = Not cool. That whole thing.

You get these young hip companies making ads on TV showing Betty White being snazzy and all that, and it's like kids say, see now that's the way I like old people to be.

Society is just getting too fast. It's become like a business, where they no longer care about feelings, just the bottom line.

Let's start caring about feelings again.

You know what we need?

Another hit by some young band with Tony Bennett. That'll get the train rollin.

Sara on June 03, 2010:

I was contemplating about the concept "respect for the elderly", and surfing the Internet out of curiosity when I came up on this page. What are the reasons behind the concept? Why should the elderly be treated with extra respect just because they're old? The simplest explanation could be, in my opinion, that getting older and weaker as life goes on is not the elderly's fault but a rule of life, and thus we should respect and protect them as an expression of mere humane sense of fairness. But on the other hand, everyone gets old, and since 'everyone' van be any person, being old doesn't automatically mean being otherwise respectable. If an elderly doesn't act respectable should we overlook it just because they're old? I mean, in this story, for example, why did the old lady get in front of him really? AND why did she kept ignoring him if she heard him asking her about it?? Honestly, I would be frustrated too. I do things like giving up my seat on the bus for the elderly just because they're old. But I don't they have to act disrespectful of others just because they're old.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on June 01, 2010:

mquee thanks for reading my most popular hub to date. You are right times have changed and the generations of political correctness have raised their children and their children are spoiled rotten for the most part. Now I believe that there are still plenty of young adults out there that have respect for the elderly and that reflects on their parents and how they were raised. But what happened to these punks out there that hurt homeless people for sport and even set them on fire. 80 year old woman getting plumeted by teenagers, what went so wrong with these people that they could do such things and still sleep like babies at night? Thanks for reading and cheers.

@Span Star I totally agree with you. They wanted God out of our country and he pretty much left and left a bunch of godless people. This country really needs our prayers. My mother is 76 years old and God help anyone that mistreats her. Thanks for reading and cheers.

SpanStar on June 01, 2010:

This is not the America it use to be. There was a time this country did believe in God and the values taught by the bible were taught to citizens but no more, we just open the flood gates and say, people do whatever the heck you want.

People really do have to be taught how to be good because it really does just come naturally.

mquee from Columbia, SC on June 01, 2010:

Times have changed so drastically from the time of my youth. When I was young, I never thought about getting old. On the other hand I never, ever thought about showing disrespect to anyone older than I was. I believe it is the training one receives at home and what is permitted in society, these things with a strong helping of selfishness make for a rude unthinking person. As you said, every young person is not this way, because everytime it seems I feel down about today's young people, I meet one or two that are so courteous and respectful. Very good hub.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on May 06, 2010:

Bambino you are right these days it seems like a lot of younger people have totally lost respect for anyone in authority and there are many bullies out there and they prey on the elderly because they are more vulnerable. Thanks for visiting again. I value your opinion. Cheers.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on May 06, 2010:

Foster parent I agree with you here it seems that when we took God out of our schools that terrible things started to happen that we had never seen before such as school shootings and such and we lost total control of our children. Thanks for your opinion and for visiting. Cheers.

Bambino on May 06, 2010:

Kid these days are not in awe of anyone or anything..there is little or no disciplin anymore when I was a kid (many years ago) the police,the vicar and most of all your parents were respected and woe betide you if you did anything wrong..not now though,respect and disciplin seem to be a thing of the past.

foster parent on May 06, 2010:

I think it is because we dropped religion education from our schools

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on May 06, 2010:

Bambino thank you so much for reading my hub. I agree with everything you mentioned and some of our "younger generation", the ones that do not have any respect for elderly people were probably raised that way or they just went terribly wrong. If one of my sons or daughters ever treated someone like this I would personally kick their asses. Yes everyone should be mindful that they will one day be in those shoes. Thanks agan for visiting. Cheers.

Bambino on May 05, 2010:

All i have to say on this matter is..The young of today should remember that they are the 'old 'of day they will be standing in lines waiting to be served,waiting in bus queues hoping someone will help them onto the bus or at least offer to put their bag on for them,hoping the shop door isn't going to shut before tey get there meaning a struggle to open it,need i go on ?

My warning to the young disrespectfull of today's society would be,respect the elderly of this world,they faught in 2 wars to give you a life ,one day you will be old how will you feel if nobody gives you the respect you deserve ?

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on May 04, 2010:

saddlerider thanks for visiting my hub and your nice comments. Never did I think that something that happened to me at a grocery store would create so much passion in so many people and it is because we can all relate. We all are growing older and all we want is some dignity. This woman in the store did nothing wrong she was just a little dazed and maybe confused at best and she certainly didn't deserve the treatment that she received. And I am afraid you are corect about the decline in our society and this is what it has come to. People having no patience with elderly its so sad. Thanks for always reading my hubs and commenting so eloquently. Cheers.

saddlerider1 on May 04, 2010:

What a timely hub. I am overwhelmed by the support given here and the understanding that not one of us is perfect. We are merely human beings going through a transition of life's circle from the cradle to the grave. Throughout time there has always been respect given and shown to the elders. It's riddled throughout our history books. Man's inhumanity to man will not stop because we are in the 21st century.

Change has to come from within and that only happens by being taught at a very early age to be kind,loving and caring to people of all ages. Sure I don't condone people pushing in front of people, acting rude and mean to each other. But it seems that if your a geek, nerd, ugly, poorly dressed, poor, homeless, a person of color, some one down on their luck and so much more, then you are prayed upon by the vultures of society.Is it right to injure the elderly, of course it isn't but unfortunately until people take a stand against abuse and violence, it will continue to plague us all. Yes it's sad when it comes down to thinking of carrying a gun and blowing someone away for simply moving to the front of the line, that's very base. But fear is being put into many people's hearts and minds and they are willing to kill someone because they to are fearful that it could be them next. Peace is the answer, but unfortunately that is not going to happen, we are on a social decline in our world and time is not on our side. I pray that our world will find peace and humanity soon before it's to late. The clock is ticking and it's the tick of a time bomb. Great hub, you sure raised some questions about our humanity. God bless the elderly, and God bless tolerance and forgiveness, we didn't ask to grow old, but please treat us with humility, patience and love, we were young once to.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 07, 2010:

Well - here am I - among the elderly, more than the lady in the grocery line who was rudely treated. I don't experience disrespect, to be totally honest, unless getting hit on by whippersnappers counts as disrespect.

But I do genuinely regret that some of my peers do suffer disrespect and even abuse. However it is symptomatic of a whole generational malady. Kids shoot their classmates for trivial reasons. This was totally unthought of in the past, let alone done - and frequently as it is now.

Many kinds of disrespect seem to overshadow the kind people who still remember how to be considerate and teach their children to be civilized. But a generation of barbarians will behave accordingly, and that is what we are seeing now. The chickens have started to come home to roost.

If improvement is to happen, people must once agan be given examples and taught to be humane from birth. Mass childcare can't replace timely parental guidance in these matters. Major changes are needed or society crumbles. It's imperative.

Thanks for a good hub, ladyjane. I hope it stirs action! However, returning barbarism with barbarism is not the effective action needed.

It's just me from Alaska on April 05, 2010:

That might be part of the solution right there. People need to start stepping up and saying "I'm a human being and deserve to be treated like one."

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on April 03, 2010:

It's just me thanks for sharing this experience with us. You sound like someone to be reckoned with and that is good. Im afraid all across America especially there is a lack of respect for the elderly and I don't know when or why it happened but it did. Thank God for people like you who care enough to put someone in their place when they need to be, and Im sorry about the experience with your mother I wished she had hit the car with her cane. Blessings and thanks for reading.

It's just me from Alaska on April 03, 2010:

If someone steps out of line then they are out of line and the line moves on. The young man in the example had no right to complain when the line moved on with out him.

Alot of the problems with our society in general could be solved with the proper use of common sense and manners.

My Mom is blind and uses a cane when out walking, one day she was crossing a main road here in Fairbanks when she was half way across the intersection the walk light changed, as they do to everyone who walks, as soon as the light changed a man in a car right next to her started blaring his horn at her. I told her she should have taken her cane and beat the crap out of his car with it.

The next incident that happened to her was in the Pikes Place Market in Seattle, again she was walking with her cane, everyone walks in Pikes Place, no vehicles allowed. Well, anyway she was walking along the sidewalk and a teenage boy on a skateboard whizzed past from behind, bumping into her and nearly knocking her over. After bumping into her he screamed at her that SHE needed to watch where she was going.

Here in Alaska I fell on the ice in a store parking lot when I was pregnant with one of my children. Because of that fall I had Braxton Hicks and ended up in the hospital for 3 days. After that whenever I was pregnant in the winter I would park in a handicapped space because the stores didn't clean the ice off of the parking lots. When ever anyone said anything about it to me I asked them if they'd like to pay my hospital bill if I fell again. I didn't sue the store whose parking lot I fell in I only demanded that they use common sense about the parking situation.

When I'm out and about I don't care if someone is male, or female, young, or old, if they have an armload and can't open a door I get it for them. If I see a pregnant woman or an elder standing I offer them my seat.If I see someone who is short trying to reach an item that's placed to high I offer to get it down for them. My children behave in the same way.

When we moved down to the States people in the town where we lived took these things as a sign of weakness, one day at work I had a cowboy threaten to beat me because I didn't give him his grocery order immediately. I jumped over the counter got up in his face and told him I knew his Mama and I knew she raised him better than that. He threatened to go to my superior and file a complaint, I looked at everyone around the deli and asked them who threatened whom? They all pointed at him.

This was a kid that I fed lunch to in my home for two years while he was in high school, he and a large group of kids would come to my house with my daughter for lunch everyday. These were kids whose parents made to much money to be on the hot lunch program but couldn't afford to feed their kids. His action wasn't caused by a lack of respect in me, but a lack of respect in himself, and his family, because he remembered being to poor for a basic need (food) and that I was the one that provided it.

When I left my husband that's exactly the situation we were in but not one single person my children and I helped before stepped up to help us. There was no reciprocity(sp) of any kind, this was most down-heartening for us. Especially when they DEMANDED more help from us when we were living pay check to pay check ourselves. When we had no more to give we were treated like outcasts by most of that town.

None of those situations had much of anything to do with respect, but a little common sense, consideration, and good manners, could have gone a very long way. As it is I left that town as soon as I could afford to, just like so many others have it's very quickly turning into the ghost town it deserves to be.

Leslie Broussard on March 29, 2010:

Thank you, LadyJane, for calling attention to a horrible horrible turn in American society. I hope this hub reaches all of America :)



ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 20, 2010:

James thank you for reading my article and I agree with you on many points that you made. I too believe that when they stopped teaching ethics and civics in school everything changed and I guess we cant really blame younger people for that they were just the result. And they have been desensitiezed for many years to so many things so why should they be sensitive to their own parents or grandparents much less anybody elses for that matter. There is a generation out there that are so very different than my generation which I came in the tail end of the baby boomer generation. But it is the attitude of some of the people in my generation from this article that really left me perplexed because it is evident that there are some people out there that have a hatred or no compassion or patience for the elderly. Anyway, thanks again. Blessings to you.

James A Watkins from Chicago on March 20, 2010:

This is an excellent and needful article. Thank you for publishing this piece. I think that the American ethic went out the door with the teaching of multi-culturalism, the removal of God from public life, and abortion rights. In the case of the former, we used to teach youngsters American ethics, and civics. It was decided somewhere that this was a plot to create conformity and so done away with in favor of the idea that ANY culture (which includes ethics) is just as good as any other--hence the rise of Ghetto Culture (for just one). Tied to this is the Relativism taught now in the place of Objective Truths. The removal of God from schools means that no longer are children taught that each individual is made in God's Image--No. Each person is merely an ape with thumbs. What is so respectable about that? Lastly, Abortion has taught generations that life is not sacred if it is not convenient. Old people are decidedly not convenient.

octaviaslady from South Carolina on March 18, 2010:

We are taught to fear death and worship eternal youth. Why else would plastic surgery, vampires and elves be the new sensation with our pop culture? After all, Twilight, Lord of the Rings and Michael Jackson are certainly top sellers these days. I credit three things with this shift:

1. Our pop culture idolizes anyone who looks "beautiful" in the traditional sense. Aging or even adult beauty is often put aside for the young, budding, 16-year-old blush of youth. A model has to consider retiring by my age (25).

2. Death and aging is easier and easier to avoid. Our mobile society means that after high school, we take off to college where we are surrounded by other youthful, "beautiful" people. These people are the "educated" ones, who know best and who will "shape the future" with their power and skill. Then we take off for a job full of young, ambitious, shallow people like ourselves, far away from the parents and grandparents who raised us.

3. Technology fosters the idea of powerful youth, because our young constantly master technology more quickly than the older population. This ability allows the young to assume they know more and have more power over communication, commerce and information than their elders. They see older people struggle with what comes naturally to them and they assume that older people are stupid, slow or backwards. Finally, they often use that ability to prey upon these older people, further dehumanizing and separating themselves from them.

Compounding all of this is the culture that tells them high school is the "best years of your life" and video games that give instant gratification instead of demanding hard work. Ambition is dead, momentary pleasure is paramount, and the older generation, which has lived long enough to find these ideals repugnant, are just "out of touch" and "useless."

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 18, 2010:

Kosmo thanks for reading, I do agree with you that respect goes both ways, I guess it was just that the older lady seemed so disoriented and I don't think that she even realized that he was in line and I think she may have had a hearing problem as well from the way she was looking at him. When she told me that she didn't understand him, I kind of knew that she didn't understand and that she wasn't trying to be rude. Whatever the case, being that he was 50 some years younger than her, I don't think he had any business talking to her like that whether she was young, old or what have you. I do appreciate you reading my hub and blessings to you.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 18, 2010:

Merlin hello again, I appreciate your interest and I agree with you as well. There has been such a decline in society over the years and I think that there is so many reasons for it. The 60's were probably a start of that. I am at the very end of the baby boomer generation and my dad was a decorated WWII POW and I am glad that he never lived long enough to witness what I did that night. My dad never layed a hand on me as far as spanking but he didn't have to, just one of his looks and I respected him. People grow up these days without discipline and that doesn't always mean spankings but the lack of being taught how to respect and treat others whether they are young, old or what have you. Anyway, thanks so much again for stopping by. Your comments are so appreciated. Blessings.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 18, 2010:

Hummingbird5356 thanks for reading and commenting and I completely agree with you. I also believe that what you sow you reap and if you are a grouchy young person than you will probably be a grouchy old person as well but no matter what the situation is if that were one of my sons in that grocery store they would have never acted like that because I taught them to respect people whether they are old or not and even if someone was rude to them which that older lady was not, they would have still let her go ahead in line because they are gentlmen and that is what is lacking nowadays not that someone is young but the lack of being a gentleman and that goes for ladys as well. Thanks again.

Kelley Marks from Sacramento, California on March 18, 2010:

I like the saying "Karma is a bitch." Isn't it more like "Life is a bitch and then you die"? I agree that the young guy probably should have let the old woman "cut in" but perhaps she could have backed off as well, for she may have transgressed in the slightest way. Respect always works both ways, young or old, and I'm speaking as an old guy, though I'm way under 75. Keep writing. Later!

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on March 18, 2010:

I think the gist of the problem is that society has change over the last fifty odd years, and not necessarily for the better.

I know that after the next sentence the eyes of most people under thirty will be rolling skywards with the thought of; “here we go again...” coming to mind, however, I shall say it anyway.

When I was a kid we were taught respect for our elders and betters and more often than not the lesson was a hard one. We had respect for authority, no kid in their right mind would run home and report to his father that he had received a clip round the ear from the local policeman for fear of receiving a second one because you had obviously deserved the first one and so brought shame upon the family.

I know it’s an old fashioned notion but in those far off times people naturally knew their place in society and were proud of it. To have a trade, any trade, was cause for pride and you strove to be best within that trade, that gave you the respect from your peers.

In my view Two world wars started the change, not the revolution raved about in the sixties, although that was part of the decline.

The First World War was supposed to be the war to end all wars, full of promises of better times for those that returned. B, of course it wasn’t depression lack of decent work and starvation saw to that. However, those that did return home tried desperately to return to their previous lives and jobs.

After the second World War the memory of the first war was still alive in the minds of many and when those returned they were far from content just to go back to the old ways and demanded change. Women too were at the forefront of a lot of this discontentment. During the first war many women found their first taste of freedom from the domestic yoke by taking on and doing the jobs of the men off fighting. The fact that they were doing the work as well as men was ignored when the men came home and the women were forced back to the home and kitchen.

During the second war many women were in the armed forces, not necessarily fighting on the front lines but doing many vital jobs and freeing the men. After the conflict many women had found a new found confidence and freedom that they were not about to give up.

So change was inevitable. Together with the rapid industrialisation, improved transportation the cohesion of the community was the first to go then the family group.

In many respects we are the children of that change, our parents and grandparents wanted something better for us, they worked and fought hard to give us that better something. However without a sense of the past do we understand what they have given us ? Do we appreciate it or just demand it as our right ? We certainly don’t respect it , if we did we wouldn’t be abusing it as badly as we are doing and that, I’m afraid, also includes our treatment of the elderly.

Hummingbird5356 on March 18, 2010:

People should not have to live in misery just because they are old. It is true, that the ignorant people like that man in the grocery store also get old but with an attitude like his, he might not make it to being a senior citizen.

It is also true that there are a lot of nasty old people but then these are the same ones who were nasty when they were young. There are more good young people than bad and they remain good when they are old. Old people are not another species.

This is a good hub and the answers prove that there are many good people who have the proper ideals. Thank you for writing it.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 18, 2010:

Hello Merlin and thanks for reading and commenting. I had the same thought as I read Shlomo's comments and that is why I left him alone. Blessings to you sir.

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on March 18, 2010:

"Someday, I hope to be that annoying, obtuse old man..."

Just keep thinking as you do Shlomo; you're well on the way to achieving your goal !

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 17, 2010:

Oh Rosemary10 stop you are embarrassing me. Lol Thanks. Love ya.

rosemary10 on March 17, 2010:

My sis is a writer i am so proud of you.

Shlomo SL Abrin from Redford, MI on March 16, 2010:

I admit it. I have absolutely no respect for the elderly. They are as corrupt, vile, misguided, and deluded as any of us can be. The only difference is that they have been at it for a few decades longer. There is no fool like an old fool. We have an old neighbor who sits around in front of his garage in loose boxer shorts all summer while drinking. He cusses at the kids who walk by his house. I suppose you expect me to respect and honor him, too?

The elderly of my era, my parent's generation, tolerated overt racism. The elders before them had to be forced into giving women the right to vote. The elders before them pushed the Native American off his lands. Those same elders tolerated slavery. It took a mighty force of will that few of them possessed to alter the course of things. Most folks just play along and the elderly of today were just the followers of yesterday, doing what came easiest at the time.

I also see many elderly Americans living off Social Security and Medicare while complaining that government intervenes too much in their lives! Seems so many of them don't want their children of grandchildren to have the same safety nets they did. They left us a polluted and filthy planet, as well. In the US Senate we have any number of aging legislators determined to stop health care reform and encourage sending younger men and women into useless wars.

Age is just a number. That's all. The fact that a human being manages to survive over a protracted chronological period tells me a bit about his/her biology and good luck, but about character or accomplishment.

Someday, I hope to be that annoying, obtuse old man who goes grocery shopping at 5:00pm and spends 20 minutes arguing with the cashier over a can of Lima beans while working folks are just trying to get home after a long day of work.

Shlomo SL Abrin from Redford, MI on March 16, 2010:

I admit it. I have absolutely no respect for the elderly. They are as corrupt, vile, misguided, and deluded as any of us can be. The only difference is that they have been at it for a few decades longer. There is no fool like an old fool. We have an old neighbor who sits around in front of his garage in loose boxer shorts all summer while drinking. He cusses at the kids who walk by his house. I suppose you expect me to respect and honor him, too?

The elderly of my era, my parent's generation, tolerated overt racism. The elders before them had to be forced into giving women the right to vote. The elders before them pushed the Native American off his lands. Those same elders tolerated slavery. It took a mighty force of will that few of them possessed to alter the course of things. Most folks just play along and the elderly of today were just the followers of yesterday, doing what came easiest at the time.

I also see many elderly Americans living off Social Security and Medicare while complaining that government intervenes too much in their lives! Seems so many of them don't want their children of grandchildren to have the same safety nets they did. They left us a polluted and filthy planet, as well. In the US Senate we have any number of aging legislators determined to stop health care reform and encourage sending younger men and women into useless wars.

Age is just a number. That's all. The fact that a human being manages to survive over a protracted chronological period tells me a bit about his/her biology and good luck, but about character or accomplishment.

Someday, I hope to be that annoying, obtuse old man who goes grocery shopping at 5:00pm and spends 20 minutes arguing with the cashier over a can of Lima beans while working folks are just trying to get home after a long day of work.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 15, 2010:

rocknrodeogirl thank you I feel the same way about my mom as well. Thanks for reading.

rocknrodeogirl on March 15, 2010:

Wow, I wish I could say I can't believe how rude that guy was, but I can. I always have extra patience for the elderly, because I think of my Grandpa and hope that people are patient with him. It makes me sad to hear stories like this one.

Congrats on your hubnugget nomination. ;)

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 15, 2010:

Money Glitch thank you very much. I was very surprised it was nominated again. Blessings to you.

Money Glitch from Texas on March 15, 2010:

Oh yeah, I thought I recognize the title of this hub. I've commented once, however, wanted to say congrats on being selected as a Hubnuggets Wannabe and good luck to ya! :)

catalyst20 from Los Angeles, California on March 14, 2010:

I remember one movie about America's teacher of the year and he said (I don't remember the exact words), "...obnoxious characters are actually a cry for help." There is a real need to educate the young people and if you're with me there's a need also for teachers to teach this. Many teachers, sad to say, had failed or stopped teaching about that virtuous word "respect".

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 14, 2010:

shazwellyn thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you, it seems that in the United States there has been a decline with the elderly in that they are not taken care of as in generations before. I have learned just from this thread that many people from other countries still hold their older folks with respect and dignity. I think that the word dignity says it all. And you are right older people are necessary to enhance the quality of our lives and some people do not realize that they will be old someday. Blessings.

shazwellyn on March 14, 2010:

Im with hypnodude... however, we have lost community (this sort of thing is happening in the UK too) and if you dont mix a society this leads to a lack of understanding. We all live in our own realities and if there is no communication of what times were and how we have arrived at now, then there is no understanding.

The sacrifices older people have endured so as we can be free must not be forgotten. Unfortunately, elderly people have been gagged by society. They no longer have a voice and if you dont have a voice you will not be heard.

Poverty encourages communication - groups learn to survive by helping each other. Older people are looked after, they are a resource of experience, wisdom and expertise. Most of the rest of the world have community because everyone is truly integrated... India, Ethopia, Egypt for example.

Whenever you see pockets, even in the western world, where you have communities who depend on each other for survival, you see respect for older people. They are necessary to enhance the quality of our lives.

Thanks for writing this experience x

Andrew from Italy on March 14, 2010:

It's a pleasure. But I would leave these comments, as a matter of fact it demonstrates you are right thus reinforcing the reliability of your hub. ;)

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 14, 2010:

Thanks Hypnodude you always have my back. I can sleep better. lol. I don't like to leave negative comments to people, next time I will just ignore them.

Andrew from Italy on March 14, 2010:

While it is true that sometimes people not so intelligent becomes old remaining not so intelligent, and while it is also true that some people of all ages takes everything for granted and that everything is due to them, my mum taught me the meaning of Respect. This is to be given to everyone, younger, older, same age, whatever. And Respect goes hand in hand with being Polite.

Maybe I come from another planet, but I'm not able to treat someone older than me like a compeer, unless permission is given. If people could be always able to stand for themselves then we would have no "jerks" going around because they would be kicked on their butt any time they raise their heads, and I'm not saying that the world wouldn't be a better place. Anyhow, unless we want to live like animals who throw away old members we have to protect older people from "jerks" and similar beings; first because they did it for us, second because if these days a lot of "young" people live well is thanks to the efforts, and battles, and blood of those who now are old; and third because luckily one day we'll be old too.

The boy described above is used as an example of how people these days too often mistreats older people. I just hope to arrive old enough to see what kind of harvest the younger generation will get living and behaving in this way; I'm pretty sure the number of old people will decrease, becoming old requires not only health and luck, but also a good amount of intelligence. Too many video games and TV probably.

And btw Tim, if you only took the time to read more about ladyjane your comment would have been pretty different, but, when You will be old it will be interesting to know if you will remain of the same opinion. :)

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 14, 2010:

Hello Tim Hayes thanks for reading my hub. I appreciate your opinions and I just have one question for you,"Were you the ""jerk" at the grocery store that night because you sure sound like him?

Tim Hayes on March 14, 2010:

The fact that old people are old, does not preclude them being complete jackasses. We assume that young people can be stupid, arrogant, disrespectful jerks-- see your own description for an example-- but for some reason the elderly are never described that way. Old idiots are just young idiots who managed to breathe and eat long enough to become old.

This particular old lady could have, and should have, spoken up for herself. The other people in line could have, and should have, spoken up for her if she was not able to do so. The "jerk" may have just misunderstood social protocol, or interpreted it differently. Did anyone even try to reason with him and explain to him what was causing his aggravation? "I cannot believe this shit" obviously means that he does not understand what's happening and why, and he believes that he is in the right for whatever reason. He thought this old lady, probably through a sense of entitlement granted by people like yourself, just cut in line in front of him because most people let them.

I feel sad for humanity. You anonymously rag on the Internet about the man who, while possibly mistaken, stood up for what he believed were his rights. He, while possibly rudely, tried to ask this lady what she was doing. She, very rudely, ignored him and thereby fueled his outrage even more. You, being a cowardly weakling, did not even try to defuse or correct the situation, leaving both the "jerk" and the old lady feeling like some great injustice just happened instead of a misunderstanding. I feel sad for humanity.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 13, 2010:

Thank you Sage you are very sweet!

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