Respecting Old People

I'm not old. Sometimes I feel old, but at 38 I'm still in the prime of my of my life. Yet I would imagine that to kids I look old.

Yesterday at church one of the grade school kids referred to me as "baldy" when he passed me in the hall. This kid has started doing this lately and, while it really doesn't bother me - I am bald after all (but I do shave my head so it's a voluntary baldness) - it is disrespectful. If I saw the same kid saying this to another adult in our church I'd probably pull him aside and give him the what for, if you know what I mean.

This incident reminded me of a passage in 2 Kings 2:19-25. Elisha the prophet was moving along on his way minding his own business when some kids (youths as they are called in the story) began to follow him and call him "baldhead." Elisha turned around and pronounced a curse on them, at which point two female bears (don't mess with female bears) came out of the woods and mauled 42 of the youths. Talk about being punished for lack of respect!

I certainly don't wish for bears to maul kids in my church who show a lack of respect, but I do think respect is an issue for many kids today. We are probably the most strict on our own children when it comes to the area of respect. I watch kids (and even adults) in public places showing an incredible lack of respect to each other. Why is it so cool to talk back to your parents or other adults?

I realize that by writing this I sound like a grumpy old man who sits around lamenting on how things have changed from when he was a kid. But I do remember being a disrespectful punk at times when I was a kid so I know that it's been going on for awhile. As I've aged I've grown to have a deeper appreciation for our older generation even if I don't see eye-to-eye with them on everything. Maybe next time I see that kid in church I'll pull him aside and remind him of just how important it is to be respectful to people. By doing so, maybe I can help break some of the cycle of disrespect. And I'll do my best to respect him and his feelings because respect goes both ways.

1 comment:

Neil Stewart said...

Thanks man I couldn't agree more with you. Being in the public school system I know all to well the disrespect that this generation has grown accustomed to. We will have to re-teach them one child at a time.

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