Studying for my final exam in ethics, I’ve also been repeating what purpose the law may have.
One of them is to secure a particular order in society, to show everybody their rights and duties so that there are no conflicts based on subjective opinions of what is right and what isn’t.
The same goes for education of children while they are being raised by someone older, more responsible and mature, a parent, for example.
My sister always had a strong temper. Today it allows her to appear as a confident, strong young woman. It meant that she was never bullied or cast out. It also meant that she got into a lot of trouble with our parents. I remember them taking away her phone or pocket-money, I remember yells and shouting and what not.
It’s arguable wether or not my parents methods were all that effective, but somehow we all survived it and the family is still all in one house, communicating in some way or another.
Me, I liked to get out of tea. I didn’t like most of the food my parents cooked. I would pretend to be ill (I was constantly ill when I was little, so it was rather believable – then again when I was ill, they didn’t take me all that seriously) so I could leave the table. But that meant I had to go to bed early and wasn’t allowed to play outside. That tought me to finish as much as I could or at least find some other way out of tea.
Now, my sister and I were tought many things, how to behave, how to respect our elders and all that and it worked out okay.
But did anybody ever teach the parents that getting respect comes from giving respect? Otherwise it is just tyranny.
My sister and I are adults, meanwhile. Yes, we still live at home and I have one more year to go until the “teen” is no longer in my age. My sister will be moving out this year. It seems we are all rather excited.
Anyway, being adults – or close to being adults – our time grows more valuable and as we have respected our elders, we demand respect from others as well.
When we can’t make it for tea, we ought to say beforehand or at least give the person cooking tea a warning that we might not be there. Our parents do not. In fact, they can simply decide not to tell us, so that in the end we may have cooked for four when we only needed to cook for two.
Also, any disrespect towards us seems to go unpunished.
Sure, there’s a “You ought to apologize” here and there, but the main thing we here – which is the children – is: “Calm down!”
Sure! Because there is absolutely no need to get worked up! Because we are worth less than them, because when somebody tells you to “Fuck off” that is not offensive at all.
What about the good example parents are meant to set? Oh, never mind that! It’s obvious we aren’t allowed to say the same to them as they are to us!
I know, I know. They provide for us. They pay the bills, they feed us, give us a roof over our heads. We are eternally grateful!
But guess what, Slaves got food and shelter in exchange for their unconditional servitude.
I am grateful, I am.
But I am severely concerned with the way my parents are being educated.
What does it do when a person can show disrespect towards us and our time without really feeling any consequences?
I’ll tell you what we do, what we have always done: We pretend.
Something happens, a fight, there is shouting and all and when it is all over, we act like nothing has happened. We don’t talk about why that fight may have originated in the first place. No, we act like everything is okay. We talk about work, the weather.
To start with it really bothered me. I was frightened by the way everybody just went into neutral-mode after a fight. But with time I also went along with it and it actually almost makes you forget about what has happened.
Thing is, I’m sick of it. Sick. This is a sick relationship we have.
It should not go unpunished. It’s natural to try to produce harmony within a family, but this isn’t harmony. This is a play, this is the neutral zone, this is trying to avoid getting emotional. Not harmony. Not harmony.
What if I decide to punish them for telling me to calm down? What if for every mistake they make and don’t deal with properly, I decide to make it worse? I really feel like doing that right now.
What was the consequence for tonight? Well, my sister cried and my parents went over to the neighbours. I bet they’re having a great time.
I wasn’t here, so I don’t know what happened, but I have a pretty strong hunch, dad.
Tomorrow it will be different. Tomorrow it will be the same as always. But I’m not sure I will let them.