Growing older1. I talk to myself when I need expert advice.

2. Sometimes I roll my eyes out loud.

3. My people skills are fine. It’s my tolerance of idiots that needs work.

4. Even duck tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound!

I laughed, then pondered that disrespecting others is not age specific. Like recently at the Mall while waiting for a car to pull out (my blinker on), a teenage cheerleader looking girl swished her VW Beatle into my space. On the other hand, driving through a Senior Community can be perilous.  I witnessed a sweet little great-grandmother looking woman, who could barely see over the steering wheel, drive through a busy intersection in a GOLF CART like it was the Daytona Speedway narrowly missing two pedestrians.

It seems communicating tactfully to others is a lost art. Isaac Newton said “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” Mark Twain was not the poster boy for tactfulness when he remarked, “Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.”

Mark Twain is not alone. I was in a local Wal-Mart one morning and stopped to pick up some breakfast cereal. I stood by an elderly couple as they contemplated which bran flakes had the most fibre. I heard the woman say to the man as she glanced sideways at me, “I don’t care what time we come here, someone always stands next to us. How rude!” They quickly distanced themselves from the intruder (ME).

Perhaps today’s culture encourages freedom of speech even to disrespecting others. I am a proponent for speaking your mind.  People crowding in front of others who have been patiently waiting in line for their turn is one of my big pet peeves. I will not hesitate to confront a Crowder with, “Hey, we were here first. The end of the line’s back there. ” Yet I have to confess that I have never said to a little old, grey-haired couple, “Hey, would you take your walkers and go to the end of the line, please.” Somewhere along my life journey, I was taught some people and things deserve respect.

Respect was CAUGHT not just TAUGHT. I never heard anyone speak disrespectfully to my grandparents or any elderly acquaintances. If I talked back to my mother, I wouldn’t have been sent to the “stop and think about it” chair. I would “stop and think about it” standing up after my father got to the bottom of my lack of respect. I don’t remember being allowed to call anyone an “idiot” or “stupid” when I was growing up. If my teacher said to sit down…I sat. As a youngster my hand was over my heart when I said the Pledge of Allegiance, and it’s still there today. When others don’t, I will roll my eyes out loud.