respectWhatever happened to teaching children respect?  Respect for themselves, respect for their parents, respect for others in general.  I guess my parents were just old school.  I was brought up to say ma’am and sir and to treat others as I would want to be treated.  Boy how times have changed.

We live in a world where children grow up feeling entitled.  So many are not being taught to work hard and help others.  Instead it’s a world where he or she steps on or over others to climb higher on that ladder of success.  We prey on others’ weaknesses instead of building them up.  Where did we go wrong?

I remember as a child saying “when I have kids I won’t treat them the way my parents treated me.”  Thankfully I changed my way of thinking when I became an adult and realized that my parents were just trying to prepare me for the real world and make sure I was kind, thankful, respectful, and compassionate as an adult.

I spend a lot of time people watching when I am out.  The mall food court is a great place for people watching.  I’m not watching to make fun of others or to judge them, I am pay attention to what they are doing and how they are treating others.  You can see a lot if you put down your cell phone and really watch.  I see a lot of people ignoring the others in their group as well as everyone around them; teenagers rolling their eyes at their parents; kids trying to get the attention they so badly desire from their parents; and just plain ole rudeness.

The other day I was walking through the food court as I was leaving the mall and I saw a woman trying to carry a tray full of food while also trying to push a cart.  Her husband was at the table getting their very small children situated at a table while mom got lunch.  She must have walked past half a dozen people or more that either didn’t even notice her or pretended not to.  I ran up to her and offered to carry the tray for her so that she could focus on the cart without dropping their lunch on the nasty food court floor.  Shortly after I got there, her husband arrived to help her with their heavy load.  They were both so appreciative and kept thanking me.  I didn’t do it for appreciation.  I did it because that was what I was supposed to do.  That’s what we are all supposed to do.  I saw someone who needed help and I helped.  That is what my parents taught me to do.  That’s the way the world used to be.  That is before everything became about “me” or “us”.

It makes me terribly sad to see how the world has changed so much and not for the better.  I will continue to teach my children to respect others as well as themselves in hopes that they will teach their children to teach their children and so on and so on.  I can’t change the world myself although it only takes one person to start the change.

Can you make a change?  Do you teach your children to respect others and to do for others as they’d have done for themselves?  If you haven’t, please consider making a change.  It really will be something that your children appreciate when they get older.  They will thank you for it one day.

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