On Keeping Your Story Straight

Yes, A Few Grown Men, again. This time, we’re talking respect.

Rick Johnson fears he’s “just a curmudgeonly old guy now” because “it seems…that people are just not as respectful as they used to be.” As Mr. Johnson sees it, “…young people are less respectful than my generation was.”

Here’s why:

Point 1: “Much of our culture believes that you do not have any obligation to respect someone unless or until they respect you first.”


“They [the youth] seem to have a perverted concept of what constitutes respect. Many young men today believe they should be respected before they will offer respect.”

Point 2: “It is a twisted vision of biblical respect. First Peter 2:17 says, “Show proper respect to everyone.” It doesn’t say show proper respect if and only if they respect you in the way you think you deserve to be respected. It says to respect everyone because everyone was created in the image of God.”

Point 3: “…true respect is earned, not bestowed.”

So, like the youth of today (and unlike the Bible), Rick Johnson’s generation thinks that respect is earned, not given.

How about this: please respect your reader by making sure you have a coherent point before needlessly bashing young people.

Other Thoughts:

* Okay, I’m gonna stop. This is becoming a form of procrastination.

* I find the “what’s wrong with young people” lament lame and tired. What’s wrong with young people, today? You. You raised them.

*If you read the rest of the post, Johnson’s point actually seems to be about youth not granting a tacit respect for authority (as Johnson says his generation gave to authority). I’ll fully admit that I don’t give blanket respect to authority. I get this from my mother. In school, during recess, she wanted to play ball with the boys. Authority figures forbid this because she was a girl. As a result, she developed (and instilled in me) a contingent respect for authority. Even authority needs to earn respect, lest we not care about institutionalized prejudice.



One comment

  1. N. E. White · February 14, 2014

    Good point that the young are raised by the current “curmudgeons”. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way, but it’s true.

    I have no children, so I can blame everyone else. 😉

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