I am sick and tired of hearing the line, "Respect your elders." Why? Well, because a lot of time - in my family anyhow - my elders are terrible people. They are homophobic, racist, sexist, and over-all selfish and hateful people that do not understand boundaries.
When I was little girl, I was so uncomfortable being around so many of my older family members, whether it was 40 year old uncles, or 70 year old aunts, and vice versa, even cousins who were only ten or fifteen years older than me made me uncomfortable. They would hug me without permission, touch me without permission (non-sexually), kiss my face without permission, and pull me to sit on their laps without asking me. As a child who had been sexually assaulted several times, when they did this, is was very difficult for me.
As a teenager, when I got the nerve to come out as bisexual, my family members would make homophobic jokes with no regards to my feelings, and how much that hurt me. Yet again, also hugging and touching me without my permission.
I was simply told, "They're your elders, be nice."
That's a load of bullshit.
As an adult, I've decided respect is 100% earned, no matter who it is.
I am not going to respect a hateful, self-absorbed, careless person, even if it's my own grandmother.
I will happily open doors for people, say "please and thank you." and have table manners, but I will not stand around and listen to my elders, or anyone spew hatred, and make me uncomfortable.
If standing up, and telling them how wrong, and hateful their opinions are makes me disrespectful than so be it. I will not respect people like that.
And one day if I have kids, I will teach them to stand up for themselves, and if they don't want to be hugged, or touched even by family members, they are allowed to decline. If a family member or anyone, says something that upsets them, hurts them, or other people, they are allowed to speak up about it.
"Respect your elders no matter what." oftentimes completely ignores mental and emotional abuse, and I am sick and tired of it.