They’ve really pissed me off this time. Never mind that they don’t make eye contact that I can understand, maybe they’re just shy. But when they’re not willing to begrudge me my half of the sidewalk, I have zero tolerance.

Today it was all about the inauguration of our 44th President, a man of color, an Afro-American. In the day’s leading up to this historical event, many Americans came forth giving their testimony of personal experiences of prejudice and inequality; hoping that today’s event marks the beginning of the final chapter of racial tension in America. Believe me, I am all for equality, equal pay, equal opportunity, the same civil liberties for all Americans.

I am going to tell you, I didn’t grow up at a time when “different” people were treated equally. Blacks were dumb, gays were faggots and perverts, Mexican’s were dumb and women should be paid less for equal work, but you know one thing, the older generation, our grandparents were treated respectfully. They may have been immigrants, or fought in a World War, they may have been small farmers who worked the land; we were taught that they were to be respected for their contributions to our country and family. They had wisdom of years. We were to speak only when spoken to, we were to listen and learn; to hug them and love them.

So what is it today, have we failed to pass this early lesson on to the Now Generation? When a young couple of males walks towards me on any sidewalk or path 9 1/2 times out of 10 they will not yield me an inch of right-of-way. I am in my 60’s and when a younger male doesn’t respect me enough to yield when passing it is just wrong. He obviously hasn’t learned the basic rule of respecting one’s elders.

When a young couple, man and woman approach an obvious senior, the younger man should step aside or behind his lady so that the senior may cordially pass. Two younger females should always yield to an older lady. A senior man will always yield to a woman or women.

President Obama you’ve got a lot on your plate and I don’t expect you to give this matter any of your precious time. If we should meet on a sidewalk on day, I hope you’ve time to pause long enough for me to shake your hand and say thanks for your service to our county.

And now all you young men, should you not give me the respect and courtesy of my years, I will not yield an inch. I suspect you’ll be very surprised to find yourself on your ass staring up at this grey haired old man. If you’re willing, we can then discuss the lesson you somehow missed.

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john_obrien Jan. 21, 2009 @ 8:05 p.m.

Yeah, this generation has its faults.... but so does yours, sir, as evidenced in your dated perspective.


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