Respect has turned into a very different meaning now. It no longer means what it used to mean. It now has turned into a definition of “tolerating older people”.
Coming from an Asian family, respect is one of the few things you learn first but as you grow older with opinions of your own, you start to question things. Sometimes I think the usage of the word “respect” is being abused.
Every time a child is frustrated or annoyed, they’ll say, “You should speak to me with respect.” So basically, the child has to automatically remove any signs of frustration or displeasure and speak calmly as if nothing has happened. The child has to suppress his or her true feelings and find another outlet to let feelings out completely. In many cases, the Asian child doesn’t for the fear of embarrassing themselves in front of others because the Asian mentality screams “Always look good in every aspect. Hide everything else that is considered embarrassing or bad.”
And as everything accumulates inside, mental health of the child will deteriorate. But at the same time, they are capable enough to muster up enough strength to smile and act okay in front of everyone. They still have the heart in them to try to do well in their education because that adds up to being okay.
As it goes on and on like a routine, the child may get fed up one day. Or maybe it’s just way too overwhelming that death seems to be the easiest way. And when death happens, it’s just way to late for anyone to realize how broken the child already was.
In another case, when opinion varies, the word “respect” seems to be an excuse for the adults to input their point of view, not hearing, evaluating and accepting the point of view of the child.
Let’s talk about hanging out at a friend’s place till midnight.
(Some really strict Asian parents track their kids and once they switch off the location services, the Asian parents will call them up and force them to turn it back on. If the kids don’t do so – oh they have so many ways to get them to do it.) The adult may think and tell the child that staying at a friend’s place till midnight is bad because the child will be seen as ‘cheap’ (especially a girl) and easily manipulative. But then, the child will try to explain about the fact that his or her friend is someone trustworthy and that they are just hanging out or studying – basically doing nothing bad at all which is all true. Unfortunately, the adults don’t take it that way. They don’t believe it. Sometimes, they assume drugs, cigarettes, alcohol is involved in this. They immediately assume that the child’s friend’s parents will have the same perspective when in fact, it’s completely the opposite. There’s no way the child would ever win any argument because the child has to respect – in fact tolerate the adult and change some things to suit them. The child will then close off himself or herself from the social world hence finding themselves rather isolated and lonely but it doesn’t matter because they’ll do whatever to please the adults and cause less trouble. After all, things like friend support or motivation or happiness isn’t important at all right? Just do what they want and everything will be fine
Asians – it’s all about following the rules set by the elders because they apparently know better. They do – unquestionably – but not on everything.
Honestly, yes I respect everyone but when older people use it as a reason you should shut your mouth up, I don’t see any reason that it is called respect. It’s tolerating.