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God Damned Young People Have No Respect for Seniors

The problem with young people today is that they have no respect for seniors.

When I was a lad, young people looked up to their elders. Families respected the dignity of age and every house on the street was proud to have at least one wizened granny tucked away in the attic, cellar or stashed out back in the shed.

We didn’t dismiss seniors, we admired them. We viewed old folks as walking encyclopedias and knew that once you cracked their spines and blew the dust off them they were an open book of cultural history the whole family could enjoy.

You didn’t ask your nit-wit pals to teach you how to disarm a hobo, land a wife or survive a mustard gas attack – you went to your old granddad for some common sense and the straight damned goods. We understood that age equalled experience and that until you’d had a piece of German shrapnel lodged in your spleen or walked a mile in pair of cardboard shoes you didn’t know squat about nothing and less about life.

These days though, young people have no respect for seniors – and they most certainly don’t want our advice.

Try to do the decent thing and tell some moron young person to stop dressing like a damned fool and pull his pants up over his ass and you’re more likely to get a cuss in reply then you are a word of simple gratitude. To them, seniors are just an annoyance, an inconvenience or the butt of some rude joke.

In fact, they’ve turned the whole damned notion of respect upside down.

Rather than conferring it on seniors like God intended, young people today have some ill-conceived notion that we need to “earn” their respect. Earn it? What the hell is point of getting wrinkles, age spots and a damned stoop if doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of the young and immediately command their respect?

Besides, I’ve been paying into the respect kitty for 80 years and the way I see it, the time has come to start reaping some interest and letting the damned young people make a deposit or two.

These young people need to give their heads a shake and remember that respect is like a pension: it doesn’t apply to children, adults have to work for it and for seniors, it should be guaranteed.

They have no respect for seniors. That’s the problem with young people today.

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58 Comments leave one →
  1. 10:18 pm

    I think the underlying problem is that today’s youth just doesn’t see the value in disarming hobos or surviving mustard gas attacks. Their priorities are out of whack.

    • 10:27 pm

      Thanks very much bmj2k,

      It’s sad but quite damned true. They’re more interested in the intricacies of reaching the next level of Angry Birds than they are in how to tie a monkey’s fist, mend a fence or dig a regulation foxhole.

      Still, I’m sure knowing how to “level up” will serve them well when they finally decide to get off their duffs and venture out into the world.

      Always nice to have you visit, bmj2k.

      Best regards,

      Don

      p.s. (I appreciate the prompt commenting – it’s very respectful of you.)

      • 6:09 am

        Dear Mr. Mills,

        You need to play Angry Birds…really. It’ll help you vent out your anger on those horrible green pigs (think of them as those damned young people.)

        Regards,
        Shafali

    • Sedate Me permalink
      6:22 pm

      (T)oday’s youth just doesn’t see the value in disarming hobos or surviving mustard gas attacks.

      In that case, let’s crack open the mustard gas reserves and let’s do some “social engineering”!

  2. 10:27 pm

    Don there is always room for you in our back shed.

    • 10:34 pm

      Thank you Bearman,

      I appreciate the offer. It’s always good to know that an old man has options. And as long as it has basic cable, room for my armchair and somewhere to rest my glass of rye – I’m sure I’ll be quite comfortable.

      Best regards,

      Don

  3. 10:27 pm

    My grandfather was wounded by WWII shrapnel, but went on to father five children and watch the arrival of umpteen grands and great-grands. So far, he’s survived a couple of heart attacks, heart surgery, and two rounds of major abdominal surgery. In her later years, my grandmother grew more frail and required handicap parking privileges. She died a few years ago, but Grampa is still going strong, up at the crack of dawn to walk the neighborhood, golf prodigiously, take everyone out to dinner, and go on cruises with his new girlfriend. But he still has the handicap parking sign, and tries to use it when he goes out. “Grampa, you are not handicapped,” my mom and I insist. “But I’m a wounded veteran,” he replies.

    • 10:41 pm

      Thank you Alaina,

      My hat’s off to your old grandfather – he sounds like a hell of a man. If he’s ever looking for a 4th on the golf course, tell him to give me a ring. I haven’t had my mashie out in a few years and was never much around the greens but I’ve always had a passion for the game.

      As far as handicapped parking goes – I think that they should have banks of parking reserved for seniors. And it should have nothing to do with being “handicapped” or not – just recognition that after all we’ve done we’ve earned a decent spot outside the grocery store. Let the young people trudge across the parking lot – they could use the exercise.

      All the best and thanks very much for visiting.

      Don

      • 8:28 pm

        Yes, I always feel very privileged to spend time with my grandfather. As for the parking spaces, don’t you think exercise is particularly crucial at your age? I should think a nice stroll across the parking lot would be just the thing.

        FYI, I have linked to you in the response to my recent Versatile Blogger Award post. Next week I will try not to bother you so much – surely you need your rest.

        • 8:37 pm

          Thanks you Alaina,

          I get plenty of exercise just getting into and out of my car. It’s my 30 minute workout. I think the young people would benefit more from the fresh air an exercise then me.

          In fact, they may even want to consider walking to the grocery store and leaving all the parking spots for us seniors (I prefer there be ample room on each side of my car).

          All the best.

          Don

  4. 11:26 pm

    I can’t wait until their tattoos start to sag.

    • 8:40 pm

      Thank you notquiteold.

      It’s a frightening notion. Thank god I’ll be long dead before the worst of it arrives. 60 years from now there are going to be some pretty damned disturbing seniors strolling about. The only hope, really, is that perhaps by then they will have come to their senses and have the decency to cover them up.

      A plethora of Octogenarian tramp stamps is not something any of us should have to see.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  5. 12:15 am

    I blame the parents. My folks taught us to respect our elders and all of us, now in our 40s, do that. We also taught it to our children, who in turn show that respect. But they are the exception.

    • 8:46 pm

      Thank you Marvi,

      I agree that parents have had a hand in this. And a rather insidious one as well.

      Rather then teaching respect – they seem intent on sending the message that the best thing you can do for a senior is warehouse him/her in a nursing home.

      Thanks for the comment and for dropping by.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        6:29 pm

        Yes, parents do have a hand in it…the hand they use to cuff the back of their young hooligan’s head when he/she disrespects a senior.

  6. 1:09 am

    Mr. Mills,

    I do believe you are correct. Young people believe that we can google the answers to life’s questions. It’s a control-alt-delete on old knowledge and wisdom.

    • 8:49 pm

      Thank you maddie,

      Well said. And a companion to this “google” culture is the belief that the only information, views or values that have any real currency are the ones that were formed today. If a reference is more than a week old it’s viewed as antiquated, no longer relevant and not worthy of their time or consideration.

      Damned scary in my opinion.

      Many thanks for popping by.

      All the best,

      Don

  7. the sudhir permalink
    2:52 am

    You are really great.I live in Mumbai,India.Its different here.But nowadays,Youngsters have started disrespecting old people unlike their parents.Its sad to know this and i realize that when i read your blog.Actually i am waiting it to be made into a book.I am sure it’ll be a best seller all over the world and be thought in schools during the value education lectures in the class.The problem is that our value system has degraded.Thank you don.

    • 9:05 pm

      Thank you very much sudhir,

      I’m sorry to hear that the situation is changing in India, sudhir. Sadly the disrespecting of old folks appears to be turning into a global concern.

      I’m afraid you may need to wait a while on the book, lad, but I appreciate the kind words and the vote of confidence.

      Best regards,

      Don

  8. 6:44 am

    I believe respect should be given to all, until they lose it, and that’s when the task of earning respect would begin. You have yet to lose my respect, Mr. Mills, not that that’s a real concern. As for the youth of today? To heck with those punks. I’m starting to think they are a lost cause. Let’s just go ahead and start investing more time and energy into the next generation. ;)

    • 11:34 pm

      Thank you Peter,

      I’m inclined to agree with the notion of cutting our losses and giving up on this particular generation. There must be an underutilized State somewhere in the Union we could stash them away in. My parents used a similar approach with my great-uncle Edgar Mills when he started talking about marrying a house cat and I have to say it worked out reasonably well (certainly for the poor damned house cat anyway).

      I think you’re right, Peter. Time to give up on fixing the current gaggle of young and turn our attention to making sure that the next batch turn out right.

      All the best,

      Don

  9. Anonymous permalink
    9:30 am

    Preaching to the choir Mr. Mills, preaching to the choir. I had a wonderful extended and misspent youth. One of the best things about it was visiting Gram and her neighbor lady friends, who were only too happy to offer advice for the lovelorn to me. They were right, about EVERYTHING.

    Some cheeky, little, punk recently told me, “You don’t say things like that”; WRONG Ace, I say whatever I damned well please because I’ve earned the right to speak! Apparently the truth stings a bit….

    • 11:37 pm

      Thank you Anonymous,

      I couldn’t agree more. If I had ever tried to correct my old granddad he would have boxed my ears and kicked my ass into the middle of next week. And I would have respected his right to do so.

      Best regards and thanks for stopping in.

      Don

  10. 3:16 pm

    One problem Don………….where I live the whole damned parking lot IS the “senior parking”. That’s because, at 64, I am one of the “youngsters”.

    Also, referring to notquiteold’s comment: I have seen saggy old tattoos, and it is NOT a pretty sight.

    Enjoy your rants!

    • 11:43 pm

      Thank you Michele,

      I have to say it doesn’t sound like a problem to me – in fact, it sounds pretty damned sweet.

      The obvious solution, of course, would be to have Centenarian parking at the door and Nonagenarian parking one row back. Octogenarians would park behind them, Septuagenarians would get the bulk of the remaining decent spots and the Sexagenarians would have to park in the rear.

      All the best and many thanks for the comment.

      Don

  11. eileen permalink
    4:07 pm

    As for the saggy pants…what’s the draw? What is attractive about hanging their ENTIRE ass out the back? If I was still a young girl looking for male companionship, those lame-pants would not even be on the bottom (pardon the pun) of my list! Even then, I preferred guys who didn’t have to walk around like a penguin with their crotch around their knees. Do they even know how to walk with a normal gait? And…the clothing manufacturers jumped on that wagon and designed T-shirts down to their freaking knees! YUCK!

    • 9:40 pm

      Thank you Eileen,

      I have no idea what the draw might be. The only potential advantage to the whole craze is that I assume it would limit their ability to quickly flee a crime spree.

      All the best,

      Don

  12. 5:53 pm

    Respect IS like a pension and in some countries, young people are rioting in the streets to avoid paying it.

    • 9:42 pm

      Many thanks pegoleg,

      I admit to not having followed events overseas as closely as I likely should. It’s usually hard for me to see much further afield than the problems in my own front yard. And there are no shortage of problems in my own front yard.

      Best regards,

      Don

  13. 11:05 pm

    It’s hard to look up to your elders when they keep getting shorter all the time. I’m down to 5’3″ — I used to be 5’9″. Damn shrinkage.

    • 9:43 pm

      Thank you Publicworks.

      5’9″? You damn well would have been a giant back in my day. Glad to hear you’re shrinking back to a more respectable size.

      Best regards,

      Don

  14. 4:13 am

    kids are just jealous that the old people are getting all the ensure, electric scooters, and those cool walk-in bathtubs.

    • 9:47 pm

      Thank you Nonnie,

      As you know, however, jealousy is no excuse. They need to earn their scooters. As the old saying goes, “you have to walk before you can ride around in 4 mph mobility scooter with a little basket and a flag.”

      Best regards,

      Don

  15. Spice permalink
    5:36 am

    AMEN! If my son doesn’t say please when he would like something he doesn’t get it till he does. If he doesn’t say thank you once he gets it, I will take it back from him. And of course the process starts all over again. I’m even teaching you open doors for ladies, no matter their age. My son has more manners than I see in some teens today. As my husband would say, “Turn off the TV and beat your kids.” (Not that we beat our kid, lol.)

  16. Dr Tim permalink
    10:16 pm

    Dear Don

    I’m pleased to see you are still here. And surprised to find that I am too.

    Keep up the good work Don, give ‘em hell.

    Best Regards

    Dr T

  17. Stillstudying permalink
    3:45 am

    Mr. Mills,
    I have but recently discovered your blog and I have found it immensely entertaining. I must admit to being eighteen and I see first-hand a lot of the scenarios you present amongst my peers.
    I take pride in my work, as I have held a paying job since I was thirteen and did chores around the house prior to earn money. I have since held two jobs and have been promoted to manager and supervisor of both jobs. I am a student at a top university on scholarship with the intention of studying medicine.
    I just wanted to write and provide some hope that a few kids have been raised right.

    Have a wonderful day, sir.

  18. 1:10 am

    Huh, I wonder if they have ever tried applying the “respect is earned” thinking to their peers…. it would at least be fun to watch and take notes. :lol:

    • danni permalink
      12:23 pm

      young people do respect their elders and eachother. the younger geberation is always being targeted by the older generation for being ‘thugs’ but you are only looking at one group of people. There are decent people out there as well as the ones who throw bricks through windows. You need to stop classing all youths as the same people. We don’t judge you so you shouldn’t judge us.

  19. Jonny permalink
    7:37 pm

    Of course young people don’t have respect for seniors. If seniors aren’t going to respect young people, then young people aren’t going to respect seniors.

  20. 1:08 am

    This is such a nice blog. I love it when old people do such cute things. I hope you’ll stick around a few more months to fill our lives with your lovely rants.

    • I am coming for you, the grim reaper permalink
      2:04 am

      Look over your shoulder

  21. 2:18 pm

    My husband and I are young, but we definitely respect older people around us. My husband came home from work just the other day telling me of an older gentleman he spoke with who had some hilarious and magnificent stories to tell. This man had started with nothing and built a timber logging company from the ground up and was making a killing now!

    And we have a couple across the street from us that we really adore. The husband always has great stories (tells us we shouldn’t let him do all the talking when we visit, but we love for him to do all the talking!) and the wife is sweet, always baking us something.

    It’s probably rare, but I definitely see the value in having older people in my life. My own grandparents are pretty far away, and so are my husband’s, so we are very thankful that we have some older people around that genuinely care for us.

  22. 4:39 pm

    My grandpa’s stories taught me how to make a corncob pipe (he was an expert by age 6), catch a rooster for supper (he blamed his ornery older brother for that one), make sausage using a hand grinder, chuck a cornhusk (at a sibling), cure a ham, box someone’s ears (actually, his older sister taught me that) and build a cabin, just to name a few… My grandpa has lived an incredible life and I could listen to his stories for hours, even if he tells the same ones over and over. What can I say? I’m a grandpa’s girl!

  23. 6:13 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,
    I teared up for two reasons during my quick read of your post. One being from a military family , my granddaddy in ww2, my grumpy in korea and nom. I know the glory of war stories and the pain (though thats not talked about in public) I have sat on floors my whole life even after becoming a mom / navy wife , there I sat listening to war stories my new born daughter in my arms one of my last memory of my grumpy beside hes final words to me ” If we have taught you nothing in the world (this being the day after my gma’s funeral) it to live life to the fullest not me not for your gma but to the fullest with love and respect for where you came from cause we started you on the journey of where you are going in life, that was our job as grandparents nothing more than teachers!” this talk was the first and last adult talk I had with my grumpy. Though honestly they ring in my ears when i think of a decision and then in the same moment. My other set of grandparents died when I was a teen took me out for a week! I was heart broken! I loved my grandparents. Cant say I was the perfect grand child…not a person can. But I love to tell my children with photo albums in hand stories of my grandparents. though its out of their head at my childrens ages i know that even now their great grands are with them in my words in the love and teaching I have raised them with already. I tell them this recipe is great grandma Colvins or McCartney. I tell them about Grandpa being a corpsmen or granddaddy was a fireman. I let my inlaws know I demand respect from my kids and if they dont give respect you put them in time out or let me know. My parents know that I demand it and they too demand it. I am blessed with a sailor that demands respect too. (i was a single mom when I met him.) But he also has a great love/respect of his grandparents.
    The second reason I teared up is you sound so much like my two granddads I was wondering if you knew either one of them? Harry R. McCartney or William P.Colvin?
    Maybe its the wonderful generational attitude.
    Thank you for wonderful wisdom,
    Katherine Mantooth

  24. Nick permalink
    3:07 am

    I think you are right – On some level, but not all teens are morons. Some are acually polite and focused on education. I myself have some respect for my parents, and older people. I was quite offended reading some of the other articles about teens, because the ones that are well behaved and good mannered are not acknowleged at all, insted you make it out as if all teens are stupid and need to be gotten-rid of.

  25. 2:26 pm

    I agree that many teenagers in my age are pretty damn disrespectful. But I also believe it is a two-way street. I had a grandmother come in irate because I had to call security on her two underage granddaughters who were causing trouble in my store and I had to kick them out. She immediately came in and started treating me like dirt. Respect should be paid to anyone, no matter their age. People don’t earn the right to treat others like that over time. But I do personally prefer elderly coming into my store because for the most part they are kinder, and they usually need help finding a toy for their grandchildren, and I love helping find the perfect gift. :)

  26. What an ignorant website permalink
    3:44 pm

    This is ignorant garbage, just because someone is older doesn’t make them correct by default. Yes experience, equals wisdom, but it can also encourage close-mindedness. I refuse to accept this social stratification. Older people act like the opinions of youths is irrelevant. My parents tried to force me to apologise for arguing with them today and I refused. Why? Because it is against my ethos of always defending what I believe and gladly accepting the consequences. I will not throw away my honour, or my moral ethics on the whim of another. I found this article interesting but here I must proclaim the arrogance of much of the older population. I am willing to reply to any comments. I don’t want to offend anyone, I only wish to share my though on the subject. I am clearly not a stereotypical yob due to the complexity of my vocabulary.

  27. This is the problem, Don. permalink
    12:36 am

    Not all elders are so wise. Also, lets differentiate elders and elderly relatives. Family is family and the elderly are the elderly. My grandparents may be elderly but the elderly are not my grandparents. My grandmother was an alcoholic, nasty to others, and made my brother go get her booze at 16 years old, smoked for 50 years and died of lung disease. Should I follow her example? Should others respect her because, gee wiz, she was an elder? How could you? My other grandparents were wonderful, thankfully, and deserving of much respect. I am a veteran and value those that served before me, absolutely. Not ALL elders deserve the respect they feel they are entitled to because of their seniority. I always give seniority the benefit of the doubt until they show me otherwise, then all bets are off. Then I’ll tell you what I think, especially when I’m told, and I quote, not to ‘hang with niggers’. I agree with ‘What an ignorant website’s thoughts. I will not deny, however, there are youth who act abhorrently to their elders, that is for sure, and that is a shame.

  28. My Name is None of Your Business permalink
    9:58 pm

    *sarcasm* You’re so respectful, especially of the younger generation!

  29. Jazz permalink
    5:46 am

    Age doesn’t make you smarter or make you worthy of respect because their are some old folks who are just dumb and haven’t learned anything. I am 21 years old and I will respect older people who show themselves worthy of respect and just because yawl are older doesn’t make you smarter than us or make yawl are bosses. I do believe in showing respect as long as they show respect to me and they act like a person who is worthy of respect. Meaning don’t expect my respect if you are going to act like my buddy or like your my age. Or if you disrespect me don’t expect my respect either. Second things are different today technology is on the rise too.

  30. 12:20 am

    All young people aren’t the same. What you guys are saying feels like you’re talking to the whole youth population. I feel disrespected by that. I always respect. Not because I was raised that way, but because I know I might be in the same place as the elderly one day. And I will want respect then, so I respect them now. Yes some youth sag their pants because they think it’s “cool”. When a majority of the youth find it disturbing when our peers do something that idiotic. The belt was invented for a reason.

    Yes respect should be earned. But I believe respect should be earned only if it gets lost. I don’t judge the whole elderly population based on some of them, so I still respect the elderly that haven’t vanquished their privilege.

  31. NICOLETTE MOKOENA permalink
    4:33 pm

    Nowa youth r disrespecting bcaz of diz rights nd responsibilities

  32. Anonymous permalink
    12:18 am

    Man Fuck this bullshit!, I don’t give a fuck if your 8 or 80 respect is respect fuck this respect your elders bullshit, if the’re scum bags fuck em’!!!!

  33. anon permalink
    9:30 am

    Maybe the elders you respected in your day deserved it more than you. For a fellow who complains about a whiny youth, you sure do a lot of whining.

    • anon permalink
      9:36 am

      You just pepper your whining with swear words to make yourseld sound tougher than you are, but its whining all the same. You’re an act. You’re a sham.

  34. Lindsay Berge permalink
    11:33 am

    Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

    ― Socrates

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