All Articles Tagged "respect"
When I was growing up, there were only a handful of ways to address adults, and only two involved using their first names– if they were an aunt or uncle, or if they were close friends of the family. In that case, we affectionately referred to them as Aunt Lisa or Uncle Mike, or as Miss Lisa, or Mr. Mike. Either way, it was all for the sake of showing respect for our elders, and practicing proper etiquette. It was just the way things were, and there weren’t any exceptions.
It’s rare for me to hear that from kids these days. But then again, it’s rare for me to come across a child with good manners.
Instead, more and more children seem to be addressing adults by their first names. Aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors; in some cases, teachers, and yes, even their own parents. To me, that’s a bit extreme, but to each his own.
I admit, it’s something that I found my kids doing with friends of mine. Childhood friends were introduced to my children by their first names; mainly because after knowing them since we were kids ourselves, it was hard for me to imagine them as Mr. or Mrs. anything. Friends that I met as an adult were first introduced as Mr. or Mrs., but over time, as we got closer, we dropped the formality altogether.
My kids definitely don’t treat them as equals. They still show them respect, but the relationship is more playful in nature.
I often wonder to myself though: Am I essentially teaching my children poor manners? Should I have them address everyone by their last name– or at least with some kind of prefix or honorific?
At first I thought it would be hard to go back when it comes to what my kids call my close friends. After all, there are friends of my mother that I still address by last name, even though they’ve told me to use their first names. But I can’t bring myself to do it. It just doesn’t feel right, and I always think that if I do my mother will pop up out of nowhere and reprimand me for it.
Then I think back to the days when my children used to call and refer to their aunts and uncles by their first names. It was something that they did because they heard their father and I doing it; which is what I assume happens with others who do the same. It was a while before we corrected them, but they eventually adapted to the change once we did.
So it is possible.
Necessary? Maybe not. Besides, there are lots of other ways that kids can show respect toward adults. It would be nice to hear it more often though, and I intend to make it a rule with my children; no exceptions.
What do you think mamas? Should kids address adults by their last names– all of them? How do you feel about children addressing you by your first name, and what do you teach your kids to do?
When my father reminisces about his dad, my grandfather, he always talks about his language. There were always metaphors, “You kids could ruin a wet dream.” or “A hit dog shole will holla.” and similes. And when the time called for it, a well-timed cuss word. According to my father, my grandfather used to say sh*t just like Senator Clay Davis from “The Wire,” quickly passing his hands in front of each other for dramatic effect.
To my father, even as a child, it was an art form. But apparently one reserved for adults only.
When my father was a boy, imitating my grandfather, he made the mistake of cussing in the house. Not only was he physically punished, my grandfather asked him, in all seriousness, where he learned those words. My dad was appalled at the question but figured it’d be best to keep the truth to himself.
And, from then on out, there was a very clear understanding. Cursing was adult language. Now, of course that didn’t stop my father from using the words outside of his parents’ earshot. But if you cussed in front of your parents, there would be repercussions, painful ones.
But perhaps things have changed a little bit with this modern generation.
In a piece for The Root, writer Aliya S. King talks about the fact that her 18-year-old daughter curses in front of her and she’s not bothered by it at all.
I called Lauren at school last weekend to check on her. She told me she was participating in a conference, and I could hear a bit of discomfort in her voice. I asked her what was wrong, and she whispered, “They put the wrong name on my f–king name tag and they won’t print out another one!”
King argues that her daughter is an adult, has never been disrespectful to her and knows how to behave appropriately in different environments. She says when there are so many things to worry about raising a young adult, cursing in a conversation is just not a big deal.
King’s mother, Rita Moore King does not agree.
As you might assume, she believes children these days have gotten away from the necessary boundaries between parent and child. While she feels that her granddaughter is respectful and kind, she also believes that there should be a clear distinction between parent and child.
I’m kind of on the fence about this one. I started cursing early in life, like around seven-years-old. Not because my parents cussed in front of me but just because I thought it was really cool. I liked the way the words sounded and how they punctuated a sentence. They caused people to pay attention and understand the true sentiment being expressed. But by the time I was a freshman in college, I felt convicted for a few of reasons. I felt like my habit was something I could no longer control and I also wanted my language, in a spiritual sense, to reflect my heart. Plus, my father, through reverse psychology, told me that since I’d been cussing for so long, I’d never be able to stop. So I made a conscious effort to stop.
And even though I try not to cuss in my everyday life, I still find that when I’m telling a story to my mom or dad and there’s a curse word or two in it, I just say it. I still agree that the profanity makes it more comical, more poignant and powerful. And if I’m telling a story, those are all the things I want to capture, or else what’s the point of sharing. And while my dad, punished me for cussing as a kid. (I said sh*t in third grade, running out of the house, believing I was going to miss the school bus.) If the story, laden with profanity, is funny, they laugh. And there’s no mention about my being disrespectful in their house.
Still, I agree with King’s mother. There is something to be said about showing reverence to your parents and tempering your speech as a sign of respect. But if they’re cool with it, then it’s really not a problem.
Do you cuss in front of your parents? Those of you who do, do they find it disrespectful?
Just like couples in a relationship, it’s all too easy for friends to get lazy when the honeymoon phase is over. When you’ve finally realized you got a true friend forever who shares your love of In Living Color re-runs and Swedish Fish water ice, you may find yourself falling into behaviors and routines that slowly start to damage your bond. Check out 9 best friend bad habits you should avoid so you’re not left riding solo:
Although I hate to admit, I have been dumped a couple of times. Quite honestly, I don’t know too many people that haven’t been. It hurt like hell and left me wondering, “What did I do wrong?” Maturity has led me to realize that getting dumped probably wasn’t about me at all.
A wise friend once asked me who the most important person in my life was. At the time, I replied, “I would have to say my Mom.” He corrected me and said, “No, you are the most important person in your life.” It took me a minute to get where he was coming from, but following a further discussion I realized he was correct. At first, it may seem self-centered, but it really is very logical. Everything you do is about you even if you are doing something for someone else. It is about your choices, your beliefs, your desires, etc. Every action you take in life and every decision you make is rooted in your personal experience, which is why you are the most important person in your life.
Conceptually, I believe this is easier to digest for non-parents as good parents often put their kids first. Nevertheless, it holds true. If you don’t take care of yourself first then, you won’t be able to take care of your kids. Your very desire to put your kids first is all about your understanding and expectations of what it means to be a good parent and the same applies to relationships. We have all dated people who seemed like the perfect person on paper, but just for somebody else. And, ultimately, it wasn’t that they weren’t great it was that they just weren’t for you. Not being attracted to them or not wanting to take the relationship further ultimately had everything to do with your priorities and preferences.
Read more relationship advice at Essence.com
I always find it very interesting about the things that I remember. I remember every lyric to that AMAZING Jack in the Box commercial with the Meaty Cheesy Boys (it used to be my ringtone, thank you). I remember every word of the Preamble, and I remember the very first argument that me and my best guy friend in elementary school had. Both of us were Tupac fans (though both of our parents did their best to keep a close eye on whatever we mentally digested, in the school’s halls we could be more free with our interests) and we were discussing Tupac’s theory on women, versus *female dogs.
If you can’t watch the above embedded video, it is an audio snippet of an interview that Tupac Shakur did with Angie Martinez. In the video he discusses his love for women, but his hatred for *female dogs. Now, I always understood his vitriol description, due to the claims that he raped a woman that he vehemently denied. So I always gave him the pass that he was very angry about the alleged false accusation. He addresses that situation, and says that’s what he bases the comparison off of. However, it was frustrating to me when the boys in my class were quoting that segment to every girl that they could.
My friend couldn’t understand why I was so offended by it, because, as I’ve been told multiple times, “but you don’t fall under the b—– category, so why are you mad?!” As I got older, I would find myself rolling my eyes whenever a guy would quote that segment as if that was their declaration of how everyone should see women, and why respect should only be given to women. “Eff B’s.”
It wasn’t until the clip came back into rotation recently that it finally set in why I was always so annoyed by it.
Hypocrisy has always been something that bothered me, and seeing a man (or woman) treat one person well, and then another person as if they were dirt was wrong to me. I typically saw this from men. If there was a woman that seemed to fall into that b—– category, then some men would just talk horribly to the woman. They might embarrass her, use her low self-esteem to their benefit, and then gloat about the fact that “that’s how you treat b—-es.” I even watched in disgust as an ex gleefully retold a story about a woman who got into an argument with her boyfriend outside of a club and when he got tired of her yelling at him and he punched her in the face. (Needless to say, our relationship didn’t last long). But the answer was always the same, “she shouldn’t have been a b—-. But you’re not, so why are you worried about it?!”
The issue is, no matter what a person portrays themselves to be, isn’t it the fact that they are a living, breathing human enough to warrant them respect? I just don’t agree with the idea of qualifying how much respect a woman gets by if she falls under one category or another. It’s not right. Especially on the front that if you treat a man disrespectfully, and he has proven that he’s not a upstanding citizen, because he’s a man he’s earned his respect?
Well, the same thing for women. Regardless of whether you feel as if a woman fall under the b—- category, or if you see her as a lady, it doesn’t take away from the fact that she is a living person who deserves to be treated as such. No one should be able to dictate to you whether you deserve to be called out of your name or not, or how you deserve to be treated.
But hey, what does this woman know?
Somewhere John Travolta is wiping his brow since The President’s recent spelling mistake may have taken the spotlight away from him butchering Idina Menzel’s name at the Academy Awards last weekend.
Aretha Franklin, Melissa Etheridge and Patti Labelle were just a few of the guests honored at a celebration honoring the Women of Soul at the White House on Thursday hosted by the POTUS and FLOTUS. President Obama introduced Franklin’s 1967 “RESPECT” saying,
“When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African-Americans and women and then anyone who felt marginalized.”
So maybe spelling wasn’t our President’s favorite subject, but the man was President of the Harvard Law Review…cut him some slack. It’s obvious he recognizes the flub as the crowd erupts in laughter, but being the boss he is he continues with the tribute anyway.
Check out The President’s minor spelling mistake around the 3:25 mark below:
Once upon a time during a hot and humid day in New York, I was riding the “2” train from the Bronx to Manhattan to visit my cousin. Per usual, I was riding the train with my headphones on, rocking to some rap music and occasionally mumbling lyrics in perfect unison with the artist, as if I wrote the song. Every so often the train would signal it was about to come to a complete stop, where people would rush to get on and off the train. During those times I hardly, if ever, bothered to look up from my music-induced euphoria.
Somewhere along the train ride, a woman had gotten on the train and stood within my vicinity. At this point, the train was packed. If you’re not familiar with the crowds of New York trains, it’s similar to a popular hole-in-the-wall club that waived the entrance fee for both men and women. I said that to say, it’s basically wall to wall full of people with very little room to move or breathe. In any event, the woman looked very uncomfortable so I pulled one side of my headphones off and asked her if she’d like to sit down. Her eyes opened in surprised, then a slow smile crawled over her face. “You’re not from NY are you?” she asked. I told her I wasn’t. She laughed and right before she thanked me she said, “Yeah…I can tell.”
While perusing Madame Noire, I came across an article about a pregnant woman discussing her commuting problems on New York’s subway system. The author of the article stated she was alarmed at the amount of men who weren’t willing to give up a seat for her. As for why she doesn’t ask the men to give up their seat for her? “I dare not ask a man to offer me his seat for fear of getting cussed out. I’ve actually seen a pregnant woman ask a man for his seat and his reaction was actually one of “surprise”…and then anger.” The author wasn’t sure if it was a matter of chivalry being dead or if men simply didn’t treat women any differently than they treated men. While she wasn’t asking for special treatment just because she was a woman, she was puzzled as to how women were more willing to give up their seat than men when they saw her on the train.
Before I get into this, I’d like to take a minute to discuss chivalry. I often see this word getting thrown around by both women and men with reckless abandon. Chivalry, as it stands, was something only done by knights as part of the code of defending women and children who couldn’t protect themselves. It wasn’t a widespread code of conduct done by men everywhere. The definition and use of chivalry held steady in that notion until some time in the 1900s, where it was then used as a code of conduct for upper class men toward upper class women. Taking into account the status of women throughout much of history (and still today if you ask most people), chivalry was enacted to protect women because men of those (and this) time period believed women were weaker and incapable of defending themselves. In my opinion, women should be appalled at the idea of chivalry, as it’s mostly rooted in sexism and very negative opinions of a woman’s capability to take care of herself.
With that said, as a man raised with more than a semblance of common decency, the culture of New York (and other northern states) are a complete mystery to me. Nevermind chivalry or any of that nonsense, there’s such a thing as common courtesy. A pregnant woman gets on a train. As a man, unless you’re handicapped/fighting an illness, you get up to offer that woman a seat. In my mind, given the way I was raised, that’s just the right thing to do. I don’t like people who feel entitled to anything, pregnant or not. While I’m all for common courtesy and doing things for women to help in whatever small way I can, a woman making me feel as if I have to do it just because she’s a woman, is a no-no. Reading the article, I most certainly didn’t get that vibe from what was written. I’m usually not one for piling on men and manhood, as definitions differ from person to person, but damn. It’s a pregnant woman. I don’t think giving up a seat for her is asking for much.
To sum up my feelings on the matter, I find it weird that men in New York (or anywhere, really) wouldn’t be willing to give up their seat for a pregnant woman. As a man, in my opinion, it’s just the right thing to do. In my mind, it’s not even something to debate. It’s just a common courtesy that should be extended.
When Black Voices said the latest work from Sabrina Thompson would make you want to grab a Kleenex, I doubted it. But by the end of the video, I needed more than one.
In her new Social Series titled, “Marriage Is…,” Thompson, a photographer among other things, has caputured images of marriages who have been able to more than 8 years. According to the U.S. Census, the average length of a marriage is 8.8 years. While we may not be able to fully discount those statistics, Thompson wanted to focus on those who fought to beat those odds.
Sabrina Thompson started close to home, looking at her parents as an inspiration who have been married for 40 years. Her goal is to show the younger generation that this type of commitment can happen.
Backed by Robin Thicke’s “Sweetest Love,” the couples’ marriages range from 10 years to 70 years. The latter also serves as the final still in the video and by then, you’re probably fighting to see through the tears.
It is quite moving to see what sacrifice, love and respect looks like through these images. Anyone with half a brain knows that making a life together isn’t easy and we’re sure these couples have worked hard at it everyday, so for that, we salute them!
We urge you to share this video with all of your family and friends.
I don’t know at exactly what age I got the message that, as a black girl, my destiny was to grow up and become a “Strong Black Woman.” My guess is probably around 4.
By that time I had come to know strong black women as survivors. They struggled. They endured. And they didn’t show weakness. They were the women in my family, and while I was proud of them, being a strong black woman didn’t necessarily come easy or get as much respect as I would have thought.
Outside of our culture, I observed that strong black women were perceived as aggressive, inflexible, contentious—hardly the type of women that needed to be protected. Intra-culturally, they shouldered too much responsibility, their emotional needs went unrecognized, unexpressed, and they were often left alone to fend for themselves when they needed help the most. I concluded that being a strong black woman wasn’t what I wanted to be. I resolved to avoid the circumstances that I believed made black women have no choice but to be strong. There would be no making uncommitted men the center of my world; no entering motherhood for the main purpose of getting a commitment or to fill a void; and I would not continually take more than my fair share of responsibility in any endeavor. I wanted to develop an identity apart from the SBW standard, one built upon authenticity and self-actualization.
As an adult, I would often reflect on why I was so adamant as a young girl to not be perceived as a strong black woman. What was I really scared of? Strength is an admirable quality. Why did I not want to make this my story? What did my instincts detect about the precariousness of this female archetype?
The answer came one day as I was on a train casually listening in on a couple’s argument. The girlfriend was furious at her boyfriend because he boarded the train before her. She expected him to usher her on first. Initially, I thought this woman was acting ridiculous, even behaving something like a spoiled brat, but when they exited at their stop, he was sure to escort her off like she had asked. Being assertive about demanding respect without having to be emasculating or ugly taught both this woman’s partner, and myself, a lesson. I marveled at her expectation to be protected. This feeling of protection was something I had always felt was lacking in my relationships and something I desperately wanted to experience. However, I never expressed this need because I was afraid of appearing weak or possibly too overbearing—a true hallmark of a strong black woman–make that a strong woman in general.
Luckily for me, I have since come to recognize vulnerability as strength and, as a result, have experienced greater depth in all my relationships. Being a strong black woman, though it might not always be appreciated by others, is something I definitely have a new appreciation and renewed respect for.
From Single Black Male
I come today speaking on a common issue that men deal with: the women whom men want to “know their place.” These are the women who don’t want to play that part or don’t know that a guy placed them in that role. I know this is a touchy and brash sort of topic. I’m very much ready to explain all that I am about to say. In the non Platonic world, men have two types of women in mind: women they don’t mind dating and women who they only want to have sex with. The truth is that in the latter case that’s all they want to be to that woman. Like many dating/sexual scenarios, it’s just never that simple. There are always confounding variables that can make things a little more confusing. Deception runs rampant between men and women. We try to be as verbally pleasing as possible, cushioning each other’s emotions for our own peace of mind. I don’t necessarily think this is the right way to go but many of us have been guilty of it.
It pays to be clear on the kind of relationship you have with someone. The main reason why guys get upset with women who end up wanting more than what they want is because that woman isn’t fully aware of his intentions. I had a friend in college who was aware of a girl I was dealing with. He knew that to me it really wasn’t anything serious. Here and there this girl wanted to really kick it on campus and I just wasn’t with it. I didn’t want to give off the vibe that I was interested in more than what we were already doing. I wasn’t mean about it. That’s just not what I wanted to do.
I’m not in the business of leading women on. I never have been and I never will be. He affectionately named this girl “stay here” insinuating that all I needed her to do was simply stay where she was and only come around when called upon. Now this was hilarious to me but in reality it’s pretty cold right? As harsh as it sounded, his nickname illustrated my feelings completely. It became clear to me that maybe I wasn’t clear on what this arrangement was.
Read more at SingleBlackMale.org