I, you and many others have been raised on the words “Respect Your Elders!!”. There wasn’t a choice about honoring the words or not. It was a fact that shaped our childhood and the way we were taught to see the world. And although I fully know that these words were originally intended to honor the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of those who came before us…I also believe that our current interpretation of the title “Elder” is extremely diluted and skewed.
Somewhere over the last few generations…the word “Elder” shifted to simply signify a person of greater years than another. In my personal opinion…that is far from the truth!! I believe that an elder is a wise one ~ a person of integrity and truth ~ an honored one who has the interests of their community’s youth at heart ~ and a compassionate one who generously shares their wisdom for the growth and evolution of their community!!
So…here we are…still telling our beautiful children to “respect their elders”…when many of these so-called elders are stumbling through life as children themselves. I don’t wish to blame or judge the cycle that is in motion. I wish to give our children the gift of DISCERNMENT!!!
Can we not teach our children to RESPECT all brothers and sisters (regardless of age or authority)…and then encourage them to HONOR them according to the wise or compassionate attributes they may display???
I believe that would begin to seed a new generation that honors INTEGRITY above AGE!!
For too long we’ve allowed scared, selfish, down-right grumpy people to lead our youth…because we’ve been (for lack of a better word) “brainwashed” to respect our elders and authority figures.
And NOW I see the unexpected impact it is having on our youth. These young people are naturally born with a great gift of discernment. They can easily tell (from infant stages) who represents care, compassion, inspiration and empowerment!! When given a choice…they run to those who offer support and encouragement AND run from those who make them feel self-conscious and inadequate. BUT…then we often say “too bad” when they tell us they don’t like the authority figure of the day.
How can we teach them to be independent and wise themselves…if we tell them they can not CHOOSE who they wish to honor and learn from?? Why IS it inappropriate to tell our children “YES!! He is an adult…but his choices and actions are not healthy ones. Please follow your own internal guidance!! At least they would have a foundation of TRUTH to guide them!!
Currently…we tell them to RESPECT their elders and LISTEN TO their elders when those elders are not even capable of recognizing the complicated and intrinsic nature of each child’s beautiful heart!! Which….eventually breeds miscommunication, distrust, and isolation among our youth…and through the generations!!
If a child knows that he is not being seen, honored, or appreciated for his natural SELF…he learns to hide, maneuver, and side-step through society!! The world of authority we tell them to honor…makes NO SENSE to their pure hearts!! And thus…they either still the voice they hold within (to conform and appease)…OR they withdraw from allowing themselves to be measured or appreciated by another!!
WHEN WILL THIS STOP!?!?!?!
I didn’t realize that “I” was one of these children!!! I’m 43 years old…and I didn’t realize til just recently that I do NOT respect authority!! I show respect fully and completely…but I recognize that authority holds no personal value to me. None of the authority figures I encountered SAW me…so I withdrew and learned to hide my true self until it was time to begin discovering myself just ten or so years ago!!
I see my son now following the same pattern….and that BREAKS MY HEART!! I ask him to honor every soul…regardless of age…but i do NOT force him to mold into their expectations of who he should be!! And NOW…i see him questioning what that means. IF he doesn’t conform naturally…there is no place to really support his individuality!! He defies structure…but doesn’t have the outlet to re-direct the energy productively!!
We’re asking children to still fall in line during school hours…but it no longer supports their creative nature!! Beautiful and passionate teachers are just as frustrated as the students. WHAT OPTIONS DO WE HAVE??? There is NO out-of-the-box solution…unless we choose to abandon all respect for average society and it’s support system.
The thing is…my son IS meant to be part of average society!! As much as I’d like to give him a fully supportive alternative lifestyle…..that is not who HE is either!! I’ve seen great visions…and he is meant to be part of this evolutionary journey into greater SELF-AWARENESS for children of all ages!!! SO…i must have faith that he IS where he should most genuinely be…and there is a great and beautiful tapestry of wisdom and experience at play here!!
I do believe in perfect divine order!! And yet…this moment of free expression to the incredibly supportive blogging world LIFTS MY SOUL and helps me to remember that WE as a united force ARE slowly shifting the status quo towards a time of empowerment for ourSELVES and our society!! I know that we’ll all navigate through this transitional time with strength, integrity, and compassion….and sooner than we can imagine…our efforts and prayers will affect change!! ♥
Thank YOU to all who encourage me, support me, and inspire me!! You are greatly loved!!
Today, I pray that ELDERS who are worthy of our respect and attention…begin emerging in greater ways so that our youth can learn to TRUST the authority figures we ask them to follow!! And I pray that each souls individual spirit (regardless of age) is given a forum to SHINE and EXPAND in Love!! May each small step we take today…lead to a tomorrow filled with INTEGRITY and TRUTH!!
To every child ~ young and old ~ I SEE YOU!! You are most BEAUTIFUL as you are!!!
In JOY and Ever-Expanding Wonder,