Monday, June 30, 2008

It's All About Respect

Oh, kids these days! They just don't have any respect for their elders. They think they have it so easy. They, blah blah blah...

I've heard it all before. I'm some young no-good idiot kid with no idea what real work is because Mommy and Daddy never made me think or work in my life. I don't know what it's like to go hungry, and I've never lived on the streets, and I haven't had to work a really hard job.

Though my parents might have messed up a few tiny details in how they raised my sister and me, they got one thing down: respect. In all my years growing up, I was rarely allowed to call an adult by their first name. My teachers were always "Mr." or "Mrs." Our neighbors were also last-name titles. Once in a great while, I could use a first name. My best friend's parents who lived behind us were one example. My mother's friends were the only others as far as I can remember.

Even today, I prefer titles for people older than me (like, 10 years older or more, sorry friends). My professors in college were always "Dr. So-and-so," never by their first name (unless I was corrected, and usually more than once). The man who writes Astoria Rust calls himself "Guy," but he'll always be "Mr. Guy" to me. It seems fitting. I think he likes it... maybe not, but he's still a "Mister" to me. That, and he hasn't corrected me... :)

My family gets titles, too. My aunts and uncles are always "Aunt Jane" and "Uncle John." My cousins are referred to as "Cousin James" when I'm talking about them in conversation, but I use their first name when I am talking to them personally (same age group, right?). My grandparents have been "Grandpa Smith," not "Grandma Sally." When I am talking to my grandmothers, though, they're just "Gramma" (and yes, I do say it like that).

It's all about respect. Kids these days are learning it, and some will grow up with it and pass it on to their kids. Before you start lumping us all in the same boat, know that there are exceptions who learned things the "right" way.

How did you learn? What did you teach your kids? How do you feel about being titled?


MissKris said...

I LOVED this post, too...wish I had more computer time this morning to comment, but I have time to say my kids - ages 29 and 31 - were brought up the same way and, to this day, we still have a lot of older people in our church who remember them as little ones and will tell us how much they loved and appreciated the fact that our kids were respectful AND friendly to them when they were litte. And we also had an elderly couple come up to us when we were out having breakfast in a restaurant and tell us what a pleasure it was to see two little ones who knew how to behave so beautifully in public. Did I say I didn't have time??? Oh well. Once I get started I can't shut up. You do your parents proud, I'm sure, Ms. Jaggy.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Just don't call me late for dinner...