When I was a kid, we had to “respect our elders” because they were so much older and had so much more wisdom than us. We were supposed to call everyone who was married, Mr and Mrs, even if they were only a couple years older than us. All relatives, no matter how distant and regardless of actual relation, were Aunt and Uncle if they were only a couple years older than us. I tried to point out to my mom how ridiculous it was that when I was really young and my mom babysat a relative of mine (my first cousin once removed, apparently…yes, I just stopped to check wiki) who’s maybe ten years older than me, we didn’t call him “uncle”…but after he got married it was “uncle” or nothing. (She probably ended up saying something to the effect that “we told you to” and that was why.)
The thing I’ve learned, however, is that just because someone is older doesn’t mean they are wiser. ALL people deserve respect on the basis of being a fellow human being. I reject the belief that all older people are wiser (and all younger people are dumber). It was yet another way they kept us under their thumb: us = dumb/stupid/fools (which we were called on a regular basis), them (and all older people) = wise.
This is me. I’m coming out as an adult. I am an equal with any adult out there. I am an equal in the human race. I am not “less” because I’m young. I’m not dumb, stupid, or a fool because I’m young. I am a person who matters.
I, too, deserve respect, and I will not tolerate any less.