Tuesday, April 12, 2011



"Respect your elders."

I don't know who to credit this quote to, be it "popular wisdom" or "folk saying", as it comes from so many sources. It's surprising to notice that if you look at the other "popular wisdom" there is a noticable lack of a counterpart for our youngers. "Respect your kids" isn't one I've EVER heard! Why not? And why has "respect your elders" been broadcast so broadly?

Just playing with ideas, this feels like cultural messaging to the effect of "don't respect your kids and put on a good (but perhaps not authentic) face on with your elders." But then, why would we hear it coming from our elders? We tease each other about turning 30 and 40 and 50 and so on. I've seen kids try to use age as power to manipulate younger kids. I've seen a great respect for children from the older generations, and somewhat less for the middle-aged. How does age come into play in the way you treat others? What meaning does it actually hold? Is it just what we believe about it, or are there irrefutable truths? But enough about age. This is about respect.

What I've learned from The Option Institute and the Son-Rise Program has opened me up to accept, appreciate, and respect SO much more than I did before. Now I appreciate the purpose of the "isms" (the things/behavior we do to cope and give comfort to ourselves, like biting our nails as we wait nervously or clenching the muscles in our feet while getting a dental cleaning) that my son has, as well as my own isms. It's always fun to take a learning from the Son-Rise Program, or any source, and generalize it to see where else it applies. For example, can we look at the things people do as their isms, that serve their purpose(s), whether we understand or agree, or not? And to be fair, can we look within ourselves with enough respect to find the purpose in our judgment? In this light, is anything truly unforgivable? What or who is there to disrespect??

It's love, presence, being happy with, joining, listening first.

No need to add "your elders"... or to exclude "your youngers".

No need to leverage age to get it.

No need to earn it by getting older.

No need to earn it at all.

No way to lose it.
It's freely given...
because we're here,

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