Where’s the Respect?

Posted: May 23, 2013 in Life, Pets
Tags: , , , , , ,
Honey Bear and her kitty best friend curling up with me on the couch

Honey Bear and her kitty best friend curling up with me on the couch

When I was a child my parents made sure that I knew how to behave. They taught me to be honest, hard working, fair, and loving. They also taught me the importance of being respectful to others, especially to my elders. If an adult came into the room and there wasn’t anywhere for him or her to sit, I was instructed to give up my seat. If I had a guest spend the night, I was supposed to offer them my bed, while I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

It was imperative for me to say please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me, bless you, and I’m sorry immediately when it was appropriate. I was never permitted to be rude to anyone. I was taught to always treat others how I would want to be treated. And most of all, I wasn’t allowed to talk back to or criticize my elders. If I broke any of these rules, my parents would spank me and ground me. In my parents’ eyes, respect should always be a top priority.

I suppose that is why I was shocked today when a kid (I’d estimate as about 12) came to my door to tell me my dog was loose. Apparently, when my mom came to visit and my kids answered the door my almost 8-year-old sheltie/cocker spaniel mix decided she wanted to sunbath on my front walk. I wasn’t aware that my dog had sneaked outside, so it was nice to have someone let me know she was loose. However, that boy’s attitude had a lot to be desired.

As soon as I opened the door, he started lecturing me about my duties and obligations as a dog owner. He proceeded to point out that it was against the law to not properly tie a dog out and that I was risking my dog running away or worse, getting hit by a car. When I tried to explain to him that my dog normally stays on my property and that this had been an accident (of less than 5 minutes, mind you!) he still didn’t relent. He continued lecturing me that I needed someone to look out for my dog, and he suggested that he was the person to that.

In utter shock, I thanked him for his concern but told him his further assistance wasn’t necessary. I quickly got my dog back in the house and closed the door. The kid had been yelling at me so loudly that my mother even asked me what the commotion had been about–and she had been on the other side of my home!

This whole incident is unsettling to me. Where is the respect anymore? This kid did the right thing by knocking on my door. But I have to wonder if he did it simply to try putting me in my place. If I had ever done anything remotely like this at his age, my parents would have killed me! They simply would NOT have tolerated it. I am certain of it.


  1. Sandy says:

    200% right you are. I too was taught, and taught my daughter about respect, giving up one’s chair etc. Kids today do not do that. I was on a metro while traveling with an elderly lady trying to stand with a cane and some lazy kid sprawled taking up more space on a seat then he needed…with no thought of having the lady sit in his place. I looked at him, looked at his parents expecting them to tell him to get up. When they didn’t I decided I would. His parents were clueless and not too happy that I spoke up. I was standing so really couldn’t help her any other way. I looked at the kid and said…hey, you’ve got young legs stand here and let this lady have your seat. He did it, didn’t say anything, his parents gave me a nasty look. I didn’t care, figured if they were clueless their kid needed someone else to tell him what to do.

  2. as a middle school teacher & mom, i know this feeling. i am lucky that most of the kids i know are being raised to show respect, but i do see terrible attitudes emerge at times as well. and if my kids ever showed disrespect, i’d want to know!

    the biggest problem imo, is handheld devices. they are tools that let you stay wrapped in your own world, encourage you to ignore those around you, snap pictures to embarrass or scold others with, and demolish communication skills. i would love to require kids (& adults) to take classes in human etiquette, its a lost art

    • ARDollak says:

      Etiquette IS a lost art. I try my best to teach my kids respect, manners, and consideration for others. But it seems like so much of the world is getting rude and self-centered.

  3. Sandy says:

    Me, checking back in, as I have a few times; but didn’t leave a comment since there wasn’t a new post…but decided today I would anyway. Hope things are ok with you.

  4. Sandy says:

    Me again, I’ve checked in a couple of times, though I don’t leave a comment each time, as I mentioned above. I do hope things are ok. Please look me up if you get back to blogging so we can re-connect.

    • ARDollak says:

      Thanks for stopping by again, Sandy. I’ve been on a little vacation of self-discovery, change, and fiction writing. But I’m back again. 🙂

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