In my twenty years of being a human on this earth I have lost count of all the times I’ve been told to ‘respect my elders’ or heard the phrase ‘older and wiser’. For most of my life I took that as truth, gospel because clearly the people older than me have lived longer, have learned more and know more. Sounds relatively correct yeah?
Since hitting my teenage years and finally developing a brain that allows me to think for myself I have realised that my elders aren’t always right. What I have noticed about the older generation is that they are often rude, small-minded and arrogant. I’m not speaking about every single person older than me just so everyone knows. I am talking about a large portion of older men and women that I have come into contact with. Within my own family I am fortunate enough to have people who know they’re not always right and are able to listen to my opinions and thoughts and consider these however, there are so many who brush over everything I say simply because of the fact I am younger than them.
My trigger for todays blog post comes from a comment I made in a Facebook page called The Musical Theatre Appreciation Society. The post shared an article about west end performers calling for a ban on eating and drinking during a performance and asked what the groups opinions were. Despite all the opinions being that yes it was inconsiderate and should be banned, I commented with my own opinion stating that I understood why people felt this way however I think it is unfair to call all theatre-goers inconsiderate if they’re not actually annoying anyone by eating and drinking. If someone is soundlessly eating or drinking and not bothering anyone around them then why is this an issue? My comment was very well worded, in my opinion, and very diplomatic. fast forward 2 minutes later and a man around the age of 60-65 called Ken had commented very rudely saying “if people want to drink from a trough during a performance they should go home and watch their TV and let normal and considerate people like me attend a performance”.
Now, I personally thought this was uncalled for so I replied to Ken in a slightly harsher tone which led to another comment from him and a comment from another man of a similar age who ended his comment with ‘end of’ basically stating I was wrong and he was right.
Friends, do not let people put you down because of your age. Your opinion matters but don’t shove it down peoples’ throats either. Be open to stories, change and conversation and try to share your knowledge with those who want to listen. For those who don’t listen, be proud in knowing that your opinion is valid and there will be someone out there who will share it. Spread knowledge and kindness, be open and respect your Elders only if they respect you in return.
This is a message to my new friend Ken;
I understand your anger towards noisy audience members, I really do. Just last February I attended a performance of Chicago to see a friend in the ensemble and got angry at 2 women next to me who sat on their phones for the ENTIRE performance so I nicely asked them if they would mind turning them off when it got to the interval. Once the show had ended they caused a right scene by screaming at me in the middle of the theatre and called me a ‘pathetic little girl’ so frankly I don’t really need you, dear Ken, to state that you know best because you are old. I am intelligent and I consider myself to be a very nice and open-minded person who enjoys conversation and debate. If my opinion is asked for I give it but it is an opinion I try my hardest not to force on other people which is incredibly difficult when rude people such as yourself think you know everything. I hope you enjoy your future theatre trips and I sincerely hope that the person you sit next to is a young girl who has brought a three course meal with them to eat while they enjoy the performance.