I feel like sometimes I am part of a generation that has lost respect for elders and authority. We are taught to be independant, challenge "the man" and fend for ourselves. Somewhere in that, I think common courtesy flew out the window. Here are somethings I have noticed about many people in my age catagory...
We rarely use "Mr. or Mrs. Last name"
Men don't open car doors for women
People don't open doors nearly as often for elderly and women with children
We feel we have the right to question authority and don't often question it in a humble manner
We hate the word submission and refer to submissive people as doormat, having a hard time ever viewing submission as respectful
We don't RSVP
We don't regard senority as a valid reason to give a person a job, a place in line, or even a chance to speak into our lives
We always speak poorly of "the man" whomever he may be in a given situation
We don't even like the word authority, because frankly, it sounds too authoritarian
Now, I am not saying there is not a time and place to question authority or stand up for yourselves (anyone who knows how opinionated I am can vouch for this). When power is abused, it should be put into question and challenged. However, I truly want my kids to respect authority and elders...it's Biblical. God calls us to it and there is nothing wrong with it. If authority or seniority are abused, God also gives us tools and ways to deal with it. Therefore, I don't understand why somehow it has been so hard for our generation to place value on what those over us say and to give preferance to those who have lived longer and learned more, without labeling us doormats. Humility can be a beautiful thing and does not have to mean you get humiliated.
Yesterday at an assisted living place I witnessed a man walk in and not bother to hold the door for an elderly woman, or for me and my children. I don't want my boys to grow into that man. I desire to instill in them a sense of respect and honor for those around them, especially those in authority and with seniority. It's going to have to start with me though. I am going to have to do it myself, and frankly, after all I have been taught in this world, it's going to be hard. I am going to have to stop cringing at the words authority and humility. I am going to have to be more consciencous of holding my tongue around my elders and listening to what they have to say. I am going to try harder to follow those in leadership over me, without having to always know every detail and why, trusting and honoring their leadership. And lastly, I am also going to have to start RSVPing in a timely manner.