The above basically boils “family” down to its essentials:
Quite frankly, I am incapable of having “respect” for anyone — merely because that individual happens to be older. Why? Because so many of my “elders” were bigoted/negligent/vicious assholes.
I’m supposed to ‘respect” my burnt-out drunk of a “Father” (who freely admits that the only reason I even exist is because he “doesn’t like condoms”)?
I’m supposed to “respect” my great-grandparents (the ones who destroyed both my Grandmother and MOTHER, by dooming their own daughter to the stigma of “unwed motherhood” — and their granddaughter to a lifetime of unresolved “Daddy”-issues)?
I’m supposed to “respect” my idiot, enabling “mother” (who spent decades mollycoddling my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother — up to and including LYING TO POLICE to cover for him on multiple occasions)?
Fuck that. Respect is earned. The absurd amount of boot-licking directed toward one’s “elders” is — quite frankly — the primary reason they can get away with truly evil bullshit (racism, religious bigotry, etc.) — without fear of being “called out” for it.
No, I do NOT “respect my elders”. Never have. Never will.
I *do* respect specific individuals — WITHOUT regard to such non-essentials as age/race/sex/gender-identity etc. Importantly, however, such respect is entirely conditional on the individuals in question behaving in an acceptable manner.
Because guess what? The only thing most of “my elders” ever had to offer me was the possibility of “inheriting” their accumulated junk in the event of their death. That’s it.
I also refuse to debase myself by (for example) mindlessly aping/parroting any given “role-model”. Such aping/parroting is inherently dangerous for the simple fact that your chosen “role-model” is neither omniscient, nor infallible. In other words, it is entirely possible (and actually fairly probable) for your “role-model” to be wrong.
Fundamentally, there are three general “types” of error, differentiated by why the error occurred in the first place:
Broadly, the 3 sources of error are: mere ignorance
evasion (self-inflicted blindness)
For example: I have never used “crack”, because I at least attempt to know (in general terms) the (probable) results of my own actions. This wasn’t a reflexive “just say no” prohibition: I refused to use crack until and unless I knew something about it, first.
In other words: I attempted to correct my own ignorance before proceeding.
As it happens, once I learned something about the effects of crack-usage (including the fact that an extremely steep usage-curve – “addiction” – is really common — I had no further incentive to even consider using it.
(Hint: I can’t take the “let’s blame our physiology or genome for everything!” school of excuse-mongering seriously, either).
So (for example) my parents antics cannot be excused on the grounds of “mere ignorance”. They BOTH knew (at least in some terms) what they were doing:
My “father” had to be aware that if he stopped off at the bar (to avoid his shrew of a wife/drink his way out of realizing that his marriage was crumbling, etc.) that he would end up fucking some random bar-slut or other.
My “mother” had to know that the vast amount of evidence pointing squarely at the fact that my “Father” was doing the above was not being fabricated by others, as an elaborate plot against him. In other words: she wasn’t merely ignorant of the reality at hand — she was actively “ignoring” it. (What Ayn Rand would describe as “evasion” or “blank-out”.)
Same pattern holds for my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother. She KNEW about the drug-dealing, the fact that he was a school bully, the escalating theft, the fact that being “nodded out” on heroin is fundamentally different from being ‘sleepy”, etc. — and CHOSE — actively and CONSCIOUSLY — to engage in a decades-long campaign of cover-ups, excuses, and blame-shifting, to exonerate the worthless junkie FUCK-STAIN from being held accountable.
So, no: I have no respect for “my elders” merely on the basis of “age”.