Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Teenage Rebellion

There's always so much talk about how teenagers are terrible to raise and have no respect for authority and do nothing but cause trouble and stuff like that. I never really put much stock in that talk because I never had a rebellious teenage phase, but as I watch my brother going through it, I can easily see why people think this.

Being one of the not so popular crowd throughout most of high school instilled in me a great sense of respecting authority. Not the authority of my teachers or pricipal or anything like that, though. No, instead I respected the authority of the kids who were older than me. I knew my role and acted accordingly.

When the older kids budged in line for lunch, I let it go because they had seniority. When pushed over to the window to accomodate a larger, older kid on the bus, I looked out the window and ignored it. When I got knocked around in the halls walking to class, I righted myself and kept on walking. There was an order to things, and I knew my place.

Things changed somehow in the time I was a freshman and sophomore to my days as a junior and senior. Now that I and my fellow classmates were the big dogs, we could budge in line or move younger kids to window, or do any of the other things associated with our new stature as upperclassmen. There was a problem, however, in that no one seemed to have told all the underclassmen their place in the chain of command.

When you'd try to budge for lunch, the little bastards would push you right back out of line or bitch to any instructor walking by. If you ran into someone younger than you in the hall instead of moving along, they'd turn back and push you while at the same time tattling to a teacher. They had no respect for the natural order of things. I had played my part and lived through being on the recieving end of things, but I never reaped the benefits of my upperclassman stature. Between my grade and the grade below me, there was a change and a lack of respect ran rampant throughout the younger kids and it has forever changed how the natural pecking order in high schoool has operated at Hayfield High School ever since.

My respect for the upperclassmen transferred over to respecting my parents, my teachers, and other people with more authority than myself. Now since kids aren't put in their place by older kids, you get a generation of little punks that don't know to respect their teachers or parents. My little brother is a perfect example. He only ever cares about what he wants, no matter how it affects other people or who is telling him what he can or can't do. It doesn't matter and he'll feel fully justified in acting out because my parents didn't respond to his demand.

He does not recognize the authority that my parents command, but only selfishly looks at how his orders weren't obeyed. It riles me up that either a) I never got to exercise the ability to be a complete prick when I was younger or b) younger kids, such as my brother, don't recognize the position that a parent holds over them.

Teenage rebellion was never something I experienced. Part of me is glad, while part of me feels cheated.

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