In many countries insufficient respect is shown to older people. What do you think may be the reason for this? What problems might this cause in society?
Adults and the elderly are thought to have life experiences, wisdom and knowledge and it is for this reason that they deserve the respect of the younger generation. This is not always the case today where we can witness scenes of disrespect towards older people in the form of rudeness.
Firstly, the family unit has changed. Both parents work and nobody has time to teach children moral values such as respect, politeness, gratitude and kindness. Often children are brought up by caregivers who are not members of their family. If parents do not hold these caregivers in high esteem, children are likely to follow their parent’s example. Secondly, consumerism, competitiveness and selfishness are what younger people value, while relationships with the elderly take a back seat. It is rare to see a youngster giving up their seat on public transport to allow a pensioner to sit or to help them carry their bags.
This disrespectful attitude will produce an alienated society and marginalise the elderly. Being rude will affect all areas of life and personal relationships. At the workplace, workers will not behave professionally and might be rude to their employers. Similarly, in classrooms students will misbehave and have problems with discipline. Lastly, older people may feel upset and disadvantaged as they do not receive the respect that comes with old age, maturity and experience.
In many Asian countries great respect is given to the elderly, which means they have strong family ties and relationships based on good values. This benefits all members of society and leads to healthy morals.
Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2