Monday, November 28, 2011

Listen la, Uncle...

My parents brought me up to respect and obey old or perhaps older people. We should not raise our voices to them but instead let them talk first. You know... be the obedient kid or the kid that has a sweet mouth by greeting everyone when they come in the house or "call people to eat" and of course treating them well. That was what I thought when I was a kid.

Then as I got older, I've learnt that not only you have to greet them but you also have to listen to them. Their advice or teaching are to be listented! Could this be because they are experienced people? or they know more things? perhaps yes... perhaps not. We do not know because some may be real or some is made to sound real. 

Well, we are all well drilled when we were kids to listen and respect older people and do what they tell you. It has somehow embedded into our heads and it has became the foundation of all the kids of our generation. That is why when we meet any older people we greet them and then give way for them to walk or when they talk we will listen or pretend to listen and be interested because we were thought to respect and listen. 

OMG! we are actually programmed to do all this?!

Then when I got into the working world and started to understand people more. Manage to meet different kinds of people of different age. Some older some younger, some really older and some way younger. Then you notice one pattern started to emerge. Everyone speaks of similar topics, have similar likes and dislikes and the old ones mixes with younger ones, younger ones mix with the older ones as if we are all the same. Suddenly the age gap becomes diluted. It is still around but it is not so prominent as when we are in school.

Like I said earlier, in school we are divided based on our age. Standard 1 for certain age group, standard 2 for certain age group, form 3 for people who are this age and so on. Then the teacher and student differences. Even trainee teachers which is like 4-5 years older than us demands us to respect them. The best things is that we do. We just follow. 

But in the working world, its different. Age doesnt really play a role. the only difference is the position. The ones that we "have" to respect are the bosses and those that been there for a while and have a weird way of doing things. But when it comes to the rest no matter what age you are you are almost the same. We bitch about certain things, we have same crave for certain food or we watch similar movies etc. In fact, we respect each other for what we are doing. Its not more money or power or even age but the passion or the responsibility that was given to them. They can do things that you cant do and you do things that they cant do... respect is mutual...

Then I realise that one thing stands our like a thorn in between roses. All the "respect the older people" lessons that I learnt when I was a kid started to be questioned. I have once been told by my boss in my previous company that I gave too much respect to older people that I wont oppose what they say and instead agree and listen. At that moment, I basically got my brains jammed there and then. So what ever I learnt before this was not exactly right? It was then I started to think more and more about what was thought is not what is done. I started questioning the system. I started thinking about the whole issue of the workability of the system. I now know that age is just a number. Something that was told to us or thought to us so that we comply to "the" system... 

Now I realise why it is done and what is the problem in this... If you notice the system carefully, we are thought to respect and listen older people. Right? We are told to listen to their advice and if possible do not do what they dont think its right, right? I started observing once I got older. Alot of old or older people are forgive me if I am wrong, unconsciously using the system for themselves. They are also brought up with this system that it became a natural reflex and response that when they get older they will be and must be respected no matter what they have done or did or what they are. Especially when one got more power or money or experience. Think about it? OR could this system only works at home in a family structure? Perhaps or perhaps not.

There is this saying "when you point one finger out, you got four fingers pointing back at you". Meaning? when you say something or condemn somebody you have to look back at yourself and make sure you are not like that too. Some may realise some may not realise that they are in fact worse off compared to the people they condemn. Have you faced the same problems too with older people too? It was then I told myself that when I get older I will NOT do what all these old people do to me. I will listen people younger than me and help them and tell them what to do. Guide and let them walk their own path instead of moulding them to become the next me. No point telling or teaching unless they ask me to. What you dont want people to do to you then dont to people lah!

If you notice older people always demands respect just because they are older. To be honest, I still do but recently I started to doubt this system. Sometimes some older people do not really deserve that respect. Why? If you notice some of them are using the system just for the sake of using it. Like I said it became a reflex of what we are thought throughout our life. Listen, respect, obey! So when you reached to the age where you think you have crossed to the other side where instead of listening, you now think that people should listen, respect and obey you instead. Not knowing that you didn't have what it takes for people to respect you. It could be your character, attitude or even perhaps your ego. This is basically not the right education if you are using the listen, respect, obey structure. This will basically tell us that, when we get older we can just fuck the younger people up and not show them the right attitude, JUST LIKE YOU! Your intentions may be right but its YOUR intentions and it might not be suitable for some. Generations change, people change, lifestyle change and heck! even education style change. So do you think you might change to? is this the legacy you want to leave behind? "He was once a great man but turned to some grumpy old fella after that!!"

Then again we, the younger people, also cannot overdo it and be an overly arrogant smart ass! Yes, you maybe more educated or smarter that some but you still must treat people with respect no matter what age or who they are. You must learn to also listen and HELP those who needs help instead of mocking them or ridicule what they do. Being educated and intelligent is a gift and if you are a really intelligent then you would learn to build instead of destroy a person. My father always tells me that people poor or rich, round or square, they are people also. If can help then we help but do not mock them. 

What I am trying to say is that, there is a way to gain respect or make people to obey you and of course listen to you but in return you must show the same things too. I believe the older you get the more humble, cheerful and the more calmer you should be instead of being a grumpy old man/woman that you have became. Learn to listen and guide and not instruct, so that in return, the younger generation will listen and learn and perhaps respect and obey willingly. Show to the younger generations that what you learn as a kid about listen, respect, obey and being humble will be used all the way till old instead of showing them that old people are just grumpy and irritating has beens. 

I am not only speaking on my behalf but I am speaking on behalf of my generation and all we want to say is that "Listen first la, uncle/ aunty!". We might be wrong but we would love to have our voice heard too and  if we are wrong we love to be guided and not thwarted or condemn and best of all not listen to us at all. sigh... 

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