If you thought that
Behavior intended to please your parents (Vocabulary.com)
was #Respect then you sure ain’t gonna like what I have to say next.
On the other hand…if that one challenged you a bit…let’s see how far we can push it with this one…
Politeness, honour, and care shown towards someone or something that is considered important.
At first glance…there seems nothing wrong with that definition of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
- Politeness – Yeah, that’s good.
- Honor – Sure that is important.
- Care – Most definitely!
But here is where it goes MASSIVELY wrong…
…shown towards someone or something that is considered important.
In other words, ONLY CERTAIN human beings are WORTHY of respect?
- Queen – Yes!
- Doctors, police and teachers – Yes
- Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles – Yes
- Older people (generally defined as greater than 30) -Yes
- Children – No
- Teens & Early 20s – Not really…
- #ActuallyAutistic #neurodivergent #disabled – Hmmm…not really but we have to look like we are…
Politeness, honour, and care is courtesy…and ALL deserve that!
Sometimes not even just humans either. It could be argued that dogs, cat, and other living, sentient beings deserve it as well?
Why then do we have this divide? A belief that RESPECT is something OWED to certain people based on things like class, wealth, age, race, or position. When did respect become about POWER and control?
I mean I thought that Cromwell and the French Revolution ended the ideal of the Divine Rights of Kings. Heck, even with elected officials we are entering an age where it is challenging to respect some of them…even PotUS.
As for doctors, police, and teachers…what about those cases where it is harmful to yourself to do so? Whether it is the rash of police shootings that have instigated so much debate in the past few years or fire hose wielding ones from the Civil Rights movement fifty years ago? What about the Nazi officers who came for your Jewish neighbors? What about doctors who commit people against their will and force powerful, mind altering drugs upon them? What about teachers who learn an #autistic child’s triggers just to bait her and cause meltdowns?
All those things are very real, folks. Perhaps not common. But if we teach BLIND respect and obedience then we are opening ourselves and our children up to ABUSE.
Speaking of which…teaching your child…ESPECIALLY your #Autistic or #neurodivergent one to ‘respect’ their elders is one of a pediphile’s best tools. Research has shown that ‘stranger danger’ programs are largely ineffective because most abusers are either family members or friends. And ‘respect’ can be a powerful tool in gaining a child’s trust and silence in the wrong hands.
As for ‘older people’ I go back to the words of Henry David Thoreau again…
Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about. Walden (1854)
I grew up in a situation where the people over 50 outnumbered other children about 100-to-1. I never once questioned showing these people respect. It just came naturally. And not as you may think because I was told to…but because THEY showed ME respect. I was valued and honored as the FUTURE. They taught me respect not by demanding it but by MODELLING it in the way that they treated me. That is how I have taught PanKwake too.
As for all those ‘elderly’ demanding ‘respect’ out there. Complaining that young people don’t give up their seats on the busses anymore. That their music is too loud. That they cuss too much. Drink too much. Are too rebellious.
Do you realize who the over-60 generation is today? The Flower Power Hippies!
So I seriously question their right to talk about loud music, drug use, or profanity.
If that is not bad enough…ask yourself this question…what is that generation’s track record? What is their legacy? What inheritance have they left for their children and grandchildren?
- Quadrillions in debt?
- Untold species extinct?
- An environment that is barely habitable…and very well may not be for this generation’s children or grandchildren?
- A world with the technology to end hunger but so divided by race, religion, and politics that it lacks the will to do so?
- The capacity to switch to renewable energy in a decade but a corporate power structure that impedes that?
Now please tell me…
WHY THE *F* THOSE PEOPLE DESERVE RESPECT MORE THAN MY #HappilyAutistic eleven year old?
To be specific…why should I force her to stop rocking on a bus, or be quiet when she hears a siren, or look them in the eye when they are speaking to her, or move her special needs buggy aside so they can put their shopping in the wheel chair bey?
If that sounds angry, it is because I am. Trying to raise a child in this world that DEMANDS R-E-S-P-E-C-T but refuses to give it has been hard…for three decades now. But never more so than parenting a #HappilyAutistic and #ProudlyPDA little human.
Especially when you are the one that refuses to give them the ‘respect’ they have not earned. Refusing to parent your little human in a way that is ‘intended to please’ others. And to make matters worse…doing so without apology. Calling into question the very ideals of AUTHORITY and ‘respect’.
So if I don’t buy that respect is…
Politeness, honour, and care shown towards someone or something that is considered important
What is R-E-S-P-E-C-T then?