Should you respect your elders just because they are older, or is it something that should be earned? In my opinion, respect should always be earned, no matter your age. The elderly tend to get respected due to their time on this earth giving them a fair deal of wisdom, however, there are exceptions to this.
Respect is a personal and earnest you may hold for someone. With that being said, if you feel as though someone is treating you poorly or being rude towards you, of course you would not respect them. Respect doesn’t depend on age, it depends on attitude. For example, if a young person were riding their bike with their friends down the street and an older person walked up and started yelling at them and belittling them, then of course that older person would not receive the young person’s respect. However, if the older person were to approach peacefully or talk in a calm tone and not yell, circumstances would be different.
It’s understandable that people of all ages, not just elderly, are disrespectful. Because of that, we all learn from a young age to respect ourselves and everyone around us. What we should also learn is that if someone is treating us with disrespect and being rude, to try our best to remain calm and not start an argument, but to also not take being disrespected.
In most circumstances, when someone is being disrespectful towards another person, they think the other person is in the wrong and don’t think for a second that they themselves are in the wrong. Once the person projects their views and argument on another person, it’s hard to change their mind. For example, I have witnessed this first-hand in a restaurant with an elderly person sitting down ordering their food. They had asked the waitress for their food, and when the waitress brought it out, the elderly person threw a fit about how it was the wrong food and not what he had ordered. The waitress told him many times in a calm voice that it was what he ordered, but he didn’t listen. From this example it’s easy to see how most people will not listen to others because they don’t want to be wrong, and in turn they’re disrespectful.
In conclusion, my opinion is that in all cases respect should indeed be earned. It doesn’t matter the age or circumstances, respect should always be earned and many people need to learn to be kind and deferential towards others.