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Thread: Age and respect. Bertrand Russell.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Age and respect. Bertrand Russell.

    A generalisation I know, however more than a grain of truth in the quote, of course similar feelings have been expressed over and over by every generation throughout history, nothing much changes.

    "I was born in the wrong generation. When I was a young man, no one had any respect for youth. Now I am an old man and no one has any respect for age." Bertrand Russell
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Comes down to the society that one lives in as to the truthfulness of that statement, of course...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Or perhaps perspective, are you looking at the issue (of respect) through young or old eyes?

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    Now, I have not read Betrand Russell. So I may well be right off the mark. (After all, he's done more thinking than i have!)

    Seems Bert's remark is an ego- centric one to me.

    When I was a teen, I "hated" 30 year olds. As a thirty year old, I "hated" people in their mid 40s. Now that I'm mid 40s I'm not sure who I hate...
    (I suppose The cohort in my sights is probably about 60. I have no problem with them now!)

    ive put it pretty strongly. An exaggeration, really. But I do remember ranting to friends (to their amusement) at the time about particular demographics. I know other people do this, too.

    Anyway, that's how my egocentricity has played out.
    One of the ways at least!

    thanks for another fun topic Jon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Evening Shortblackman, I suspect Russell's tongue was firmly in his cheek when he made that remark, he was a bit of a rascal.

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    Right. Well....

    I suppose I have to stand by my comments.


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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    people respect those who will benefit them the most.

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    I like your point woodhouse.

    I would add that a characteristic of a respected person is that they convey somehow (not necessarily narcissistically) that they/ their actions are of value. So the "respecter" has to be at some level aware of the benefit that is available to them.

    Akin to the observation that people don't always value an object if they don't pay/ pay much for it.

    Having said that, i trust that most of the time people don't act in order to be respected.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    people respect those who will benefit them the most.
    Pretty cynical viewpoint woodhouse, does this mean that people who are of no direct benefit to us may/should be treated with disrespect? I think not.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Pretty cynical viewpoint woodhouse, does this mean that people who are of no direct benefit to us may/should be treated with disrespect? I think not.
    I don't think woodhouse mentioned the word 'should'. To me he was just describing the apparent behaviour of a lot of people (obviously not all people).
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    I don't think woodhouse mentioned the word 'should'. To me he was just describing the apparent behaviour of a lot of people (obviously not all people).
    Morning Barry, I take your point, however generalisations do tend to be all encompassing.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    No matter what age you are, respect is earned. I am still waiting to get to an age where I know what I am talking about. Many times throughout my life I was told I was to young to know what I was talking about and just the other day it was said to me again and I am on the wrong side of 60 years
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Interesting ain't it? as you say, the young believe they have all of the answers, however, are told by their elders they lack credibility because of youth and inexperience, we oldies are informed by younger folk that our views are dated and no longer relevant, however those of us who are well past the first flush of youth and prepared to think, know full well there is still much to be learned.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    I can't read this without the soundtrack of the Who's cover of Young Man Blues playing in my mind even though songwriter Mose Allison had a different take on respect:

    Young Man Blues


    Oh, well, a young man
    Ain't got nothin' in the world these days
    I said a young man
    Ain't got nothin' in the world these days

    Well, you know in the old days
    When a young man was a strong man
    All the people, they'd step back
    When a young man walked by
    But you know, nowadays
    It's the old man
    He's got all the money
    And a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days
    I said
    Ain't got nothing
    Got sweet nothing
    Everybody knows that
    Everybody knows that
    Everybody knows that a young man ain't got nothin'

    Ooh, yeah
    Everybody knows that a young man ain't got nothin'
    In the old, in the old days
    Oh, in the old days
    Everybody stepped back when a young man walked by
    They stepped back
    They stepped back
    They stepped back
    They stepped far, far back, yeah
    Have pity on the young man
    They ain't got nothin' in the world these days, I said
    They ain't got nothin'!
    They got sweet f*ck-all!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Who the hell is Bertrand Russell?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Pretty cynical viewpoint woodhouse, does this mean that people who are of no direct benefit to us may/should be treated with disrespect? I think not.
    itís an observation, not a recommendation. we respect those who can offer us value...like knowledge, judgement, resources, companionship, comfort...and our idea of value changes as we grow.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Who the hell is Bertrand Russell?
    Eminent British philosopher and mathematician. Also had a bit of a sense of humour. Had a bit of a tiff with Karl Popper over a fire-iron. (No...Karl Popper did not invent the tetra pak)

  18. #18
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    From another forum:

    "I'm not young enough to know everything"
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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    From another forum:

    "I'm not young enough to know everything"
    Yes, from Oscar Wilde actually, "The Importance of Being Ernest". I've only heard its corollary: I'm too old to know everything.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    itís an observation, not a recommendation. we respect those who can offer us value...like knowledge, judgement, resources, companionship, comfort...and our idea of value changes as we grow.
    I agree with that, I will add also that we maintain respect for those who had positively impacted our lives as long as we believe value is still being drawn from those life experience(s).
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  21. #21
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    Thanks Flynnaus

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