Friday, September 25, 2009

What happened to Common Courtesy and Respect?

I use public transportation when commuting to work, which really opens my eyes to common courtesy and respect. Schools are back in session and several teenagers take the train into the city for classes, and their behavior along with the adults is shocking. The teenagers sit in groups talking extremely loud, swearing and acting obnoxious while the adults give looks but don’t say anything. I told one girl to keep it down and she ignored what I said continuing her loud conversation. Another time, I got up and stood in the vestibule because I did not want to have to tell another person to turn down the volume on their iPod.

What happened to common courtesy? What happened to respect? The adults keeping quiet about the teenagers’ behavior only makes the issue infuriate me. Has our society gone to such an extent that we stopped instilling respect in our children? When did adults start fearing children? They just sit on the train looking annoyed at one another, at the offenders, yet nothing comes out of their mouth. I remember what it means to be a teenager, I’m not that old, but I didn’t ignore an adult who just spoke to me whether praising or reprimanding. In my generation, children were to be seen not heard. Now it seems adults are to be seen not heard. Are the dying days of common courtesy and respect approaching?


  1. Bea,
    I think in general it is just how society has changed. The upbringing of children has failed in that the parents are too kind to them. Actually they are hurting them with their kindness. I think a lot of teens treat adults as peers who are not with it. Don’t get me wrong there are some good young people out there and it’s quite refreshing when you meet one, but they are not the norm. In a recent homily at church the priest said he had the meanest mom in the whole world. He then asked some of the children in attendance if they had a mean mom. Their answers were mixed as to be expected. The priest went on to say his mom always made him do all the things he didn’t like to do. For example getting up and going to bed on time. Eating meals (and what was prepared) on time. Restricting his hours to be away from home. Doing homework and chores on time. Etc. The moral was that the meanest mom was the best mom because she taught you respect and yes integrity. I think a lot of us had mean moms (maybe not as mean as the priest’s, but mean.LOL!). I’m saying moms don’t seem to be mean anymore. Today I see my own grandchildren doing pretty much what they want when they want without their parents stopping them, unless the children might physically hurt themselves. It makes me wonder who is in charge. It’s no wonder that they might grow up to have no respect.

  2. You're definitely on to something, I see it too. But other than stick to our own values, I don't know if there's much to do about it. I agree with Veejay, it doesn't seem anyone is in charge, no rules, no routines, anything goes. Kind of sad.

  3. Hi Veejay, I hear what you’re saying. Yeah, my mom was mean. :) There were sooo many things we were not allowed to do that other kids did. At the time, I thought my mom was mean, but now I thank her for being the strict single mother she was. Society allowed children to rule and respect has slowly disintegrated. It’s like parents want to have kids because it’s the next step in life, but they don’t want the responsibility. And I will state, not all children and not all parents are like that, but as you said, they are not the norm. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your thoughts.

    Hi Joanne, You’re right, it’s important for those of us who were raised with certain values to stick to them. But it is sad, and it worries me to think about these children may one day be taking care of me (cops, hospital, etc.) when I might need it. Or will they?

    By the way, it’s nice to see you back, Joanne. Thanks again for your response.

  4. I completely agree with you... I work in retail and I see what kids do to the store. Sadly, there are so many excuses for kids being kids these days that it is often over looked...

    (Hope you don't mind I popped in here from the block... I'm Hinny and I've been checking out some new blogs today :D I like what I've seen so far...

  5. Hi Hinny, Of course I don’t mind you stopping by from the Block. I love knowing people are checking out my blog. I appreciate you stopping by.

    And as for you being in retail and dealing with kids these days, my thoughts are with you. :D

  6. I have mixed feelings about the teens. A lot I know, have respect where some like you -- Veejay mentions do not. I like to see teens having a good time, but not at another's discomfort or expense. Society as a whole seems a lot edgier -- angrier as of late. Don't know if it has to do with the economy etc....