When respect does not beget respect

09th September, 2015. 06:15pm


Photo c/o: lovethispic.com

What is the fine line between speaking your mind and being plain rude? If you’re younger, when can you voice your opinion and when should you shut up? If you’re the older one, until when can you show your power and when should you let a youngin give you a piece of their mind? What about when you’re both technically an adult (ie; of legal age) but there’s still an age difference? When should one curb their tongue and let it go? If respect begets respect, who should give it first?

A few weeks ago, I was told that a (younger) cousin of mine had a riff with one of my aunts. I’m gonna spare you the gory, intimate details of why they fought, but I’m gonna give you a gist of what happened. It all starts with a Facebook comment. I know. The start is stupid in itself, but wait for it.

My cousin shared a photo of his son on Facebook. Now, we don’t see his son that often anymore because ever since his wife gave birth, they rarely come here; only on special occasions. Okay, before you all go judgey on me, let me tell you this: we live in a compound. We grew up together, so it’s actually sad that we don’t get to see each other that often anymore, although of course that’s how life is; some move on, others stay where they are.

Now, after sharing the photo, my aunt commented on the photo, saying how he should take the kid on our compound more often so that he would look better. In case you didn’t get it, the understatement here is, “your kid is ugly,” but of course she didn’t directly say that. My cousin, on the other hand, knew how to read between the lines and started arguing with her in (online) public eye, which they continued over Facebook chat and text message. Now, who’s at fault in this? Both of them are. My aunt for being insensitive in her comments, and my cousin for actually taking it way too far.

I know, he’s right in defending his son and his wife, but should that riff have gone that far? It’s so immature.

And then, fast forward to now after a few months of peace, both started arguing again. This time, another cousin told them (my cousin) that my aunt allegedly thinks that he’s interfering with the planning of her daughter’s 18th birthday celebration on the 19th. I actually find it stupid, because why would she say that only to him when we (my cousins and I) are all planning about her birthday? So, of course, because he’s mad at her, he told us that they would no longer join us on the 19th because of what my aunt allegedly said, then went to rant online again.

When an older cousin talked to him to be a little kind because at the end of the day, she’s still our aunt and she’s still older, he said that he only respects people who respects him, and that she should’ve given in first because she’s older. But isn’t that what respect is all about? You can’t demand it if you can’t give it. It’s true that older people should know better, but can’t the younger ones teach them a lesson by showing it to them. If the elder fails to act their age, why shouldn’t you? Think about it.





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