‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Sadly it seems to be a thing of the past’

May 19, 2020
Brian highlights an incident that occurred during Anzac Day commemoration ceremonies across Australia during 2020 as a sign respect is lacking in society. Source: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

Respect? Sadly, I fear, it seems to be a thing of the past! I was reading a recent news story from Anzac Day 2020 where it was reported that during an early morning ‘Covid-19 isolation impacted’ suburban driveway remembrance service around 6am in Queensland, four teenagers had threatened a family with baseball bats and knives then forced the couple back into their home, stole their phones and their car.

These ‘low-lifes’ then did a similar thing a few kilometres away to another family. The big question is why?

What has happened with parents and teachers and others imparting the concept of ‘respect’? Not just respect for each other but respect for a very special day in our lives. Anzac Day!

Have we failed? I’ve mentioned this phrase before, but my mum taught my sister and I that “we are helped by helping others if we give we always get!”

What has happened over the years that kids — teens as reported in this case — seem to be totally ignorant to the idea of ‘respect’? I totally get that some people’s lives are less than ‘perfect’ and what they see as ‘normal’ (robbing, cheating etc.) is just a sad fact of our society. But why? We have welfare cheaters, relationship cheaters, internet scammers and more. Is this just ‘survival of the fittest’? If so, I want nothing to do with it!

Apart from my own family instilling ‘be kind — help others’ into me, my schooling over the years had a similar slant. While I’m not religious at all, my early interaction with the local church as an altar boy them senior chorister with the local cathedral obviously had an impact in some positive way. Well, I hope it did!

As I mentioned before, where have we failed? Is it a generational thing? Are we ‘Boomers’ to blame? I’d like to think through thick and thin that my own kids, despite ‘stuff’ that many families go through, have all come out the other end, caring, respectful and responsible humans! What can we do? Do we need to ‘blame’ anyone? And if we do what does that achieve?

Personally I’d like to think our education system in particular might start to look at how we can bring back the ‘R’ word. Respect! Respect mums, dads, sisters, brothers, teachers, co-workers, policemen and women, doctors, nurses, those who work in retail and more… Basically respect for other people (and even animals)!

From there, those kids will hopefully grow up with the ‘R’ word embedded and then pass it on to future generations.

But can we do it? Food for thought, eh?

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