Truth or Consequence
By Diane J. Ackerman

Children should respect their elders. Is this true? Ones first response might be, “Well of course it’s true!” However, if we were to think through this illusion we may discover that the reality is children do not respect their elders. And the sad but more than often truth is, our children don’t respect themselves, let alone their elders. What happened to trust? Have we inadvertently created a world of fear based families and communities. If so, what do we do to re-establish a constructive change?

Perhaps we can show our children how to agree to disagree rather than choose divorce; teach the art of intimacy and safe sex rather than immediate sexual gratification resulting in abortion or unwanted children; practice dating rather than mating and set and respect boundaries. Perhaps we can teach our children to create teams in the workplace rather than quit their jobs when things don’t go right; to face their foes rather than quit their jobs when things don’t go right; to face their foes rather than participate in water cooler gossip and to and to stop using the little white lie in the guise of preserving another’s feelings or to save face. We can be examples who offer the truth, face the consequence and acknowledge our personal responsibility (this is a clear a path to integrity). No matter how challenging this may seem, no matter how much energy this may take, the end result will manifest a far better effect on society then a lie.

Lies and deceptions, excuses and denials have become a comfort zone for many irrational decisions. As a consequence, we experience a split society consisting of frustrated adults and an angry youth neither side trusting the other. As a consequence we experience a split society made up of frustrated adults and angry youth—neither side trusting the other. In youth, this often creates a yearning to belong and validates joining street gangs. And often we offer a blind eye to seemingly minor indiscretions such as permitting teens to drink at home as long as they don’t drive or allowing them to spend the night with a friend without supervision, we help to create a breeding ground of overindulged individuals with a you owe me attitude. Is this a safe practice? Probably not. So why are we doing it?
Do children respect their elders? Have we earned it? What examples are you setting? By seeking our won personal gratification, we have created a generation with many self centered individuals, looking for love in all the wrong places. Parents Call to Arms! Not of guns and knives but of communication and relationship. Wake up too the second inconvenient truth!

Earning Respect

I want you to respect me …Obey my every word
But don’t watch what I’m doing …For that would be absurd
Mistakes, oh I’ve made many …But none I thought you’d view
You see I am your elder … Respect must come from you
You say that I must earn it … What is it I should do?
I guess I’ll have to walk my talk …What a concept to think through!

Author's Bio: 

Alternate Pathways is a Holistic Center for Human Development. Dedicated to family values and committed to teaching practicing and applying the principles for a better way of living. Our purpose is to foster faith, family and well-being
Alternate Pathways was founded by Diane Ackerman in 2002. Diane is the author of, The Gathering and Shut the Duck Up! Both books address the solutions to releasing the fears and hurts that bind you to your anger. She has been teaching Anger Management since 1997. Currently conducts both private and group classes.
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