Essay On How To Respect Your Elders

We all know by now that the war on drugs solely started as a way to get people in low-income communities back behind bars with silver shackles around their wrists. Through mass incarceration this country has targeted black people and especially black men when dealing with the crimes associated with marijuana charges.

When you think about it, that was the only reason we had any problems in the black community. I will break it down for you all to understand. From te jump (meaning: start) the black community has had to jump, skip, and do a little dance (literally) just to receive a fraction of what the white American community had.

The American dream was created by them and made into the illusion that it could be seen within the eyes of every American mind; regardless of race, class, or any other identification. That’s simply not the case for communities that never benefited from the American slave system. Though we no longer label it as slavery, mass incarceration is the equivalence of slavery in today’s modern society.

Let’s just discuss the real reasons why marijuana is illegal. If you click here you will have facts to help you form your thoughts about the discussion.

1. The marijuana plant is simply that, it's a plant.

As a country founded on the mantra of the "Land of the Free” a society where citizens have the power to control the country they want to be living in it’s interesting to me that things so simple such as a plant can be completely outlawed by the government without having any real reason prior to starting to the “war on drugs.” With such outrageous marijuana laws it's hard to see how people are free to live their lives in this country.

The same way tobacco was utilized to make a profit for America, weed just as easily could be utilized as well. Instead the reality is that in 2016 2,157,000 Americans were sitting behind bars because of a plant (drug policy statistics). This is similar to telling somebody they are getting arrested for making lavender oils, or drinking coffee, or smoking cigarettes…what is the difference between those plants and cannabis plants?


Currently in America the drinking age is set at 21; however, most teens start drinking in high school which leads to severe alcohol addiction when these students enroll in college and have access to an increase of drugs and alcohol.

The benefits of marijuana are vast and the consequences are nonexistent in terms of the effects it has on our bodies and our minds.

Why is alcohol seen as an okay drug while people are losing their lives and their families over a natural plant that grows from the ground just like grass and bananas?

3. THC overdose...not possible. Food coma...more likely.

Nobody has ever died from marijuana usage or overdosed from smoking too much of it. (Far too many have died from distributing or exchanging goods aka making a business out of it just like the white man did with tobacco… but I digress…)

The worst known side effect is referred known as "munchies" which is the effect of feeling hungry after consuming weed. This phenomenon allows people to fuel their appetites which is usally followed by a nap afterwards.

Can you explain how eating and sleeping warrants marijuana to be a schedule 1 drug?

4. CA (and 8 other states) deliver recreational weed in under 45 minutes.

I can get weed delivered to me in under 45 minutes here in California legally in this state with my medical marijuana card. While I have experienced drastic improvements to my anxiety and my stress at school, the government still believes weed is addictive and has no health benefits. Due to this, my friends across the country are losing scholarships and opportunities and millions of (black) people are sitting behind bars because...?

I'm just confused and concerned and would like to hold a conversation if anybody is interested in sharing their opinions.

Respect Your Elders

Salwa Choucair

R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Aretha Franklin sang about it, parents strive to teach it to their kids, and it is talked about in schools and households daily. But its definition, “to admire, show regard and consideration for,” is often lost in translation when applied to a fast-growing segment of today’s society – seniors or mature adults.

This year marked the beginning of an extraordinary phenomenon; the first of the baby-boom generation reached retirement age, and for the next 18 years, boomers will turn 65 at a rate of approximately 8,000 a day, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Beyond the aging baby-boom generation, people in general are living longer these days, notes James Stedman, Ph.D., a clinical professor and child psychologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center. “Our lifespan has increased,” he says. Where once people lived into their 60s, today they live well into their 90s and it’s not uncommon to see three generations within a single family. “Eventually, the parent becomes the sole provider or caregiver of a parent,” Stedman says.

With an increase in both lifespan and the number of seniors comes a greater need for parents to teach their children how to respect their elders, from their own grandparents and great grandparents to their neighbors. How children learn to interact with seniors today will likely affect how they’ll treat their own parents in future years, says Amy Goyer, AARP’s family expert and a specialist in intergenerational relationships for more than 25 years.

Goyer offers the following advice when teaching children to respect their elders: role model, humanize and facilitate.

Model Respect and Understanding

“Parents need to understand and realize that they are teaching their kids by what they do and how they treat their parents,” Goyer says.

When a parent becomes caregiver to his parent, the child observes and learns that this is acceptable and normal. Of course, when the caregiver/parent becomes frustrated and complains, the child observes this as well, and if that’s the majority of what he hears, he may adopt a negative view of caretaking.

The message that parents should strive to give their children when it comes to role modeling is that as loved ones get older and start to lose certain physical or mental abilities, they may need more support, says Goyer, the primary caregiver to her own parents. “Be careful not to parent your parent,” she says. “The history of what they have done for you is always there. Caregiving [for elders] is hard and very frustrating, but I try to show the fun to my nieces and nephews whenever I can.”

While it’s normal to occasionally become upset as a caregiver, this isn’t necessarily what your children should see. Take the time to talk honestly with your kids and to let them know it’s okay that you’re sometimes upset, Goyer says. Let your kids know that it’s not a burden to take care of Grandma and Grandpa; help them to see their grandparents and other elders as human beings with feelings of their own.

“You project to your children the norms and values of your family,” adds Stedman. It’s up to you as the parent to socialize your kids and help them understand that while seniors may lose physical and mental capacities, they are still valued and respected.


Even through those physical and mental changes, it’s important for children to relate to seniors on an ongoing basis. Just as people vary widely within other age groups, so too do senior citizens. Goyer points to a study conducted 17 years ago by the AARP in which elementary students were asked to draw a picture of an older person and a picture of a younger person. Students who knew one or more senior citizens personally were less likely to draw a person with white hair or a walker or wheelchair than students who did not personally know a senior. If the only contact a child has with a senior is one who has physical or medical needs, it may be a good idea to expose them to other seniors who are active so he can see that all seniors are not alike, Goyer says.

Sharing family stories also helps children humanize a senior. For example, Goyer tells her nieces and nephews stories of her father’s love for animals to help them make a connection and understand their grandfather better.

When a grandparent faces physical obstacles, it’s important for the parent to remind children that Grandpa and Grandma still want to talk and are still interested in what’s happening in their grandchildren’s lives. Help your kids understand what a grandparent may be feeling, Goyer says. For example, if a grandparent is no longer able to drive a car, the parent can compare that loss to a child’s favorite toy being taken away. Young children can relate to the emotions that would result from this.


In almost every situation, it’s up to a parent to facilitate or bridge the gap between the senior and the child. Certainly, a child’s developmental level should always be taken into account when trying to teach respect, Stedman says.

Younger children will be more comfortable with older adults if they have something familiar to play with, such as a favorite toy or coloring book. Parents can help by providing a special bag of favorite toys to leave at the grandparent’s home. Whenever the kids visit, they’ll have something to look forward to, and the grandparents will enjoy watching them play.

As children get older and become teenagers, it may be more difficult to get them to interact with adults of any age, but it’s still important to try. With technology becoming more instrumental in their daily lives, teens have the unique opportunity to teach grandparents what’s new, such as cell phone texting, Skyping (which allows you to speak to and see a person in real time on your computer) and downloading music and videos to iPhones, iPads and other gadgets. This new technology can also bridge the distance for grandchildren who live far away. Talking to grandparents via Skype is an incredible relationship builder.

When school assignments touch close to home with a grandparent, be sure your kids get the chance to interview one or both grands. For example, Goyer’s nieces and nephews interviewed her father for a class project about veterans of war.

Parents can facilitate other projects on their own, such as making a scrapbook about their family. Each child can interview their grandparents on different subjects, such as what school was like when they were younger, their very first job, etc.

When it comes to teaching children to respect their elders, Goyer concludes, it’s as simple as appreciating them. “There is always something to appreciate in everyone,” she says. “Role model that you appreciate people and speak to others with respect.”

Using these techniques for teaching children to respect elders and other people in general provides lessons that will last a lifetime. And it’s all reciprocal; children who respect their elders win respect in return.

For more information, check out other AARP articles, including Goyer’s blog at

Salwa Choucair is a freelance writer and mother of two.

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