(How do you know it's a poem if it doesn't rhyme? Maybe it's not.)

I'm older the you. Respect me:
I may be stupider then you,
weaker then you,
unable to spell asphyxiation
But I'm older and you're not.

I drink and I smoke.
I swear and I cuss.
I don't believe in God and I don't like Jesus.
And I'm a confirmed homicidal maniac.
But I've been around longer then you, so I'm better.

You could go to school,
learn calculus, Shakespeare, and the laws of physics.
Maybe change your name to Pope John Paul III and become the next pope.
But I'll still be older then you.
Holier than thou.

Everyone deserve courtesy. Respect must be earned. The right to respect is an American myth.
I may be smarter than you
I may be stupider than you
I certainly am weaker than you
I am able to spell asphyxiation
And most any other word you can imagine
I remember more than you
I'm older and you're not

I drink, swear and cuss
I pull no punches
I don't believe in God, Jesus was a wimp
I'm older and you're not

You should teach yourself
Algegra, geology, quantum physics, a new language
Change your name to Yogananda and become an avatar
But I'll still be older than you
And fucking glad of it

You respect your elders because they worked hard to build and maintain the society in which you live, the benefits of which you now enjoy.

You respect your elders because you are called upon to treat everyone you meet with respect unless they show themselves undeserving of it. The next level down is mere politeness. Blatant disrespect should be reserved for when it is absolutely necessary, or it loses all moral force.

You respect your elders because Some times your elders may know what they're talking about.

You respect your elders because someday you will be one of the elders in question, and if you spent your youth creating a society where disrespect of elders is the norm, you will be extremely sorry.

You respect your elders because every human civilization up till now has considered it a good idea. This likely means that they tried the alternative and found it wanting.

    “Don’t get me wrong, ma’am; I generally have great respect for my elders. They grew up in a world that was in many ways tougher than mine is. They’ve been around longer than me, and as a result are usually more experienced than me in many ways.
     “But what I absolutely cannot stand, ma’am, is when my elders – yes, ma’am, that’s you – simply assume this to be true. Your knowledge is not inherently more valuable or more valid than mine simply because you’re pushing fifty and I’m seventeen. Your age is not a trump card that can be played in any disagreement over facts, and with respect, ma’am, in this case you’re wrong.
     “And, ma’am, I’m afraid this applies to your point of view too. It’s a myth, ma’am, that we’re all entitled to our opinions. Or at least, it’s a myth that we’re entitled to announce our opinions and expect that to be the end of it. If you exercise your right to offer an opinion, ma’am, then you accept the responsibility to defend that opinion should someone else differ in perspective. Both sides have to agree to disagree for that to work, ma’am. You cannot instruct me to do it.
     “No ma’am; that’s not allowed. You’re not allowed to say that perhaps I’ll understand when I’m older and more mature. That’s a cop-out, I’m afraid, ma’am. If I am to respect my elders it is at least partly because they are mines of information, but what good is that if they won’t share? And when I’m an elder myself, what will I have to earn respect with if my elders didn’t let me in on the secret?
     “Absolutely, ma’am. I have no reason to doubt it. But the fact that you were radical in your youth does not by any standards of inductive reasoning mean that I am radical in mine. “Radical” cannot legitimately be used to describe exclusively that set of opinions that differs from your own. I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m going to have to be quite firm on that one.
     “Well, yes ma’am, from a certain perspective I am being disrespectful. But you are being demeaning, and if we’re deciding culpability then at least I have not dismissed any of your opinions out of hand. I have simply disagreed. That is, I presume, still allowed.
     “I apologise, ma’am. I did not mean to be sarcastic. Still, I believe the point is valid.
     “If that’s what you’ld like, ma’am. I’m very sorry you feel that way, but I’ve enjoyed our conversation greatly. Good day.”

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