Respect (Letters to My Daughter #atozchallenge)
Good Evening Sweetie (because who reads in the mornings?),
I love you, and I love writing these little letters to you!
Oh, boy… a letter on respect… this should be fun…
Not so fast! It might not be what you are expecting.
As normal, I must start at the begin to give you insight into how I came to believe what I believe.
From a very young age, I was raised to respect my elders. Somehow my mother
trained taught me to be well behaved when away from my parents. It was quite a feat considering I was a demon-child raising hell and pushing the limits while at home. Needless to say, my Mother was shocked every time my friend’s parents would give her glowing reviews on my stellar behavior. Ha… I probably only did it, because I didn’t want to lose the privilege of sleeping at my friends houses. Even in that realization, I was respecting their authority over me.
When I was a little older, I noticed a difference in how I interacted with adults. I seemed to be raised slightly different than my friends, when it came to interacting with adults. I was taught that adults were people just like me, even though I was a kid. I was taught to not fear adults, and they were to be respected initially. They were to also earn that respect with their actions. While I don’t think these things were said to me directly, it is how I thought and treated these interactions.
A child interacting with adults in this manner looks a little odd. I remember being a part of many adult conversations, where I was allowed to express my opinion freely, rather than be subjugated to the corner to sit in silence. Sometimes I took my liberty to far, and eventually learned when to shut up. Though learning something, and implementing that knowledge is two different things. Basically, I knew the boundaries, but still found myself frolicking across them merrily.
There were positives and negatives to growing up this way.
The positive was that I never had fear when talking to people older than me, smarter than me, or people of authority. I also viewed people of perceived great importance as the people they actually were. If I met a famous person, I never cared, because I saw them like anyone else. I saw them as a screwed up person in a screwed up world, just like the rest of us. This has helped me in my career and life in general.
The negative to growing up that way is, I have little respect for those whom I deem to not deserve it. At first I thought I had no respect for authority, but that wasn’t it. I had no respect for those who used their authority to mask their in-competencies, especially when I could see right through them. It has hurt me a few times in my life.
Essentially, I believe that you should give respect where respect is due.
But, I noticed a big group in our society that deserves our respect, and gets so little of it.
Do you know who that group is?
It’s quite sad to see them tossed aside like unwanted old furniture. Everyone is taught to respect their elders, but no one really does. I cannot fathom why, and do not care to take a guess either.
I think it bothers me so much, because they are a resource to the thing I speak about a lot. Knowledge & wisdom. They are like this massive encyclopedia that is available to anyone, but no one blows the dust off and opens it up to read the pages. One of my favorite things to do, is listen to an elderly man or woman tell their life story.
Each person has a book to be filled with the memories that still dance in their head. They’ve been through so much. They’ve lived, loved, and made mistakes as they found successes. Sure, the definition between “lived” and “success” may differ, but you can hear it in their voice and see it in their eyes. They are treated like they’re dead, when a lifetime of experience floats in and out from behind their storied eyes.
You should take advantage of any chance you get to spend time with a person who has lived and wants to share. Let them take you away to a different time and place as you think about a life that you could only imagine. The good, the bad, the ugly, all stories have meaning, life, and beauty.
The truth is, life’s problems really haven’t changed much over the centuries. So, why not learn how others have faced those hardships, and survived?
It’s pretty extraordinary.
It’s worth doing, and if you don’t believe me… believe your Mom. The thing she loved most about being a nurse, was listening to a love story from an elderly couple that had been married 50 years. Such love. Such beauty. Such life. Your mom and I both, respect our elders. I think it would be wise if you give it a shot.
Love you Winslow!
Forever & Always,
Want to catch up on others in the series?
H= Home Run!
J= Just Joking