As kids, we are always taught to respect our elders. Especially in the South- Asian cultures, we are taught to put in extra efforts towards showing our respect. What even is respect? It is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. But we are taught something else entirely. No matter what the situation, whether we agree with them or not, we are told to behave nicely with the elders and keep respecting them. Their behavior doesn’t really matter at the end of the day and we being the younger person have to follow the norms. The question that has been in my mind for quite some time now is how do these people become worthy of respect?
According to me, a person needs to earn respect. It can be through their behavior, their achievements, their ideology, or by the way they treat the other person. If someone treats me well and with respect, I will automatically show them the same courtesy. What is this ideology that we have to respect someone because of age? How about we start giving respect to people who deserve it, even if they are younger than us. The best way to teach the concept to kids is by showing them how it is done. If we give them the respect that they deserve, they will give it back.
We as a society, need to start giving respect to those who deserve it. This should be done regardless of their age, gender, or social status. A kindhearted person who helps those in need deserves more respect than a person who is hurtful and abusive.