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EVERYTHING BUT – By the bootstrap

Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT – By the bootstrap

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Respect for one’s elders could be the highest duty of civil life. – With apologies to the Chinese for amending their proverb on deference to parents.
KAREN?BEST WILL BE LOOKING for a Nobel prize for insisting on what my mother in essence used to remind my friends and me of when I was a child.
Uncontrollable and ill-behaved children belong in a very special place where they should stay for a very long time – or until they learn manners and respect for authority.
I knew some of this kind at Pine Primary School; there were just a very few – who eventually buckled under Mr Cummins’ strap. Only one fellow from the St Barnabas district I know went to the Industrial School at Dodds.
I don’t remember his name; so please do not call me.
Karen Best says there are many of these undisciplined and deviant brats in school these days who need a residential facility above and beyond the Edna Nicholls Centre – and apparently Dodds.
“. . . No matter how much you try and what methods you try, some of them don’t seem to want to conform.”
Ms Best is anxious about the promise of Minister of Education Ronald Jones, so far not kept, of a boot camp to put some discipline back in these deviants, making them more productive subjects of the community.
But Ms Best might have missed Mr Jones’ new drive in getting the church to deal with the little demons!
The thing is these brats are no worse than some of their parents, young as there are too. There is a brigade of uncouth parents in today’s society who themselves have no respect or regard for their seniors, and therefore set no proper example for their offspring.
It strikes them not that the continued comfortable existence of our society depends largely upon their show of respect and good manners.
Have you noticed how young men enter buildings with their hats and caps on, cap peaks shading the napes of their necks? How they walk in, and from them come nary a single greeting to their elders present?
Do our young men and women speak in soft tones when challenging their elders on matters on which they are really less knowledgeable and in which they are even further less experienced?
Aren’t many of our young absent on important family days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and the like?
All these are signs of gross disrespect.
I have heard youths ask why they should respect somebody merely because he or she is older than they are. Actually, we should show respect to one another, even those younger, but especially our elders because they are ahead of us – in age, in experience, in maturity and in wisdom.
On top of that, our elders have done much for us – in many a case at great sacrifice – directly or indirectly, and many of us owe everything to their kindness and love.
And when we show them respect, privately or publicly, whether it is by the nod, the bow, the curtsy, the sir or ma’am greeting, the kissing of the hand, or the gentle but firm handshake, it is one way of showing our own love and gratitude to them.
On top of that, our elders have already been through the phases we are now experiencing and know a great more about the world than we do. So no matter how much we might disagree with them, or a point of view of theirs, we have to give them credit for their experience – which we are yet to get.
Relying on the skewed view of Independence, people of all kinds of behaviour, background, pedigree and intellect – even those without the last – have a strong opinion on everything. And wallowing in their own miasma of ignorance and intellectual hallucinations, their gut feelings metamorphose into fact.
The one honourable thing about it all is that these kin groups of illiterate and aliterate (as my kinder friend Sherwyn Walters prefers) are prepared to die in and with their ignorance and bad manners – a riddance no thinker should be tardy in accepting.
Let’s face it. It all stems from a lack of respect – for oneself and one’s elders.
Truth be told, some of our seniors are not without blame. Much is being said about Rihanna and the C-word. No one told the naive Ri-Ri earlier that she couldn’t keep uttering the profanity forever without censure.
Not a single senior had been bold enough to. So much so the megastar thought it was normal.
It took Rihanna’s make-up woman to put an end to the disrespect.
If Rihanna could be so confused, why not the nine- and ten-year-old at school?
Boot camp, yes, but some of the parents must be sent there too!