R-e-s-p-e-c-t find out what it means to me! In society we always talk about respect and how we have to show respect to everyone, but what is respect? Personally I think it depends on a person and their beliefs. Some people are raised to respect your elders, some are raised to respect everyone, and others have never heard of the word.
As a teenager, I would say we get looked down on, a lot. Which I do understand. The stereotype of my generation is we are self absorbed, lazy, and we don’t know anything. I will admit there are a lot of lazy teenagers out there, and a lot of self absorbed ones too. I’d say there are parts of my generation that meet the stereotype. A lot of teenagers forget there’s more to life than high school which I understand, but we need to learn who we are and what we want to do. We are kids but that’s not an excuse to slack off, be mean, or even do something illegal. We are the future, so let’s start acting like it.
It frustrates me when people look down on me just because I’m a teenager, but not everyone is like that. I’ll have moments of where I’ll be talking to any adult and they’ll think I’m older than I am, as soon as they learn I’m younger they immediately treat me differently. They expect less out of me and can be rude. That’s actually the reason why I got a job so early and work so hard, I was sick and tired of people looking down on me and treating me badly because of my age.
In our society we always tell kids “treat your elders with respect” but I think we should change that. Not just your parents, grandparents or teachers. We should start saying “treat your elders, peers, and those younger than you with respect. Treat everyone with respect.” Let’s break this down. Those older than you have been here longer, while not all of them are full of wisdom and kindness we still must show them respect. Showing our peers respect is so important. Teenagers are very disrespectful to each other and need to learn to be nicer. When you look up to an adult and they treat you disrespectfully it hurts. While someone is younger than you, you don’t know what wisdom of knowledge they could know. You need to treat everyone with respect.
I had been wanting to write about this for a while. My biggest insecurity is my age because I’ve had a lot of people look at my differently when they learn my age. A lot of people have asked me where I go to college, or they automatically assume I’m 18 or older. But recently I had an event that triggered me to post this.
I wanted to post a picture (I’ll show below) that shows that age does not determine your maturity or intelligence. There are many people that say we are the future. Even the bible says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example.” But still people look down on my generation and push us aside. If they could open up their minds we would prove most of us don’t break the law or “waste our lives away.”
I had a family member (not that close, haven’t seen them since I was very little) post a very rude comment. They commented about how my generation is very stupid and worthless. Apparently we know nothing and are a waste of space. They proceeded to say that my generation knows absolutely nothing about respect, and we need to learn.
Kind of ironic right? Obviously this person was the real person who doesn’t know what respect is. If they even thought to comment that they are the one who needs to learn what respect is. This person is probably 40 years old and still didn’t know what respect was. You show respect to EVERYBODY. I simply deleted their comment because I don’t like negativity on social media. Now that was the mature thing to do.
This comment is a brief little look into the hate my generation gets. As I mentioned earlier my age is my biggest insecurity. Even when I was 15, I would never say my age unless asked and I would say almost 16. I always let people assume my age. This insecurity has affected my life majorly. I’m graduating early, I’m doing two semesters in the time of one. I work multiple jobs, many that could be seen as difficult, challenging, or different than your normal everyday jobs.
Why do I do this? Because I feel the need to break this stereotype against my generation. Sure there are teenagers out there that I know that look at their phones all day, or just party. But there are also teenagers out there like me who know what they want to do with their lives. They know their dreams, and they won’t let anything stop them.
I always get honored when someone thinks I’m 18, they ask me what college I go to, or they even offer me a drink. (I have never accepted a drink, or had a drink period. I do NOT condone the behavior of underage drinking.) I don’t try to act older, it’s just I’m more mature than people think someone my age would be. I’m not being a rebel, well I am being a rebel against the foolish stereotypes that have been put on my generation.
Long story short, do not believe stereotypes. Teenagers, show respect to your peers and everyone else. Adults, get to know a teenager before you judge them based on their age. We live in a very judgmental world that is filled with stereotypes. I live and work hard to stop the judging, to break the stereotype set on my generation, and to prove I’m more than what people think I am.