The title is from a song called “New Attitude” by Patti Labelle. For you newer generation folks who don’t know who Patti Labelle is, she’s an American singer who was quite popular in soul and disco music. In fact, she was the one who originally wrote “Lady Marmalade” before it was covered by Christina Aguilera.
But today’s post isn’t about disco music, it’s about attitude. The world is a living thing, and with that life comes evolution. Evolution of its people and how they behave in general.
As a child, I remember that the way we addressed our elders was important. Although respect was something earned, it was also given to those who had come before us. That was an expectation, but a reasonable one.
How we spoke to our parents and adults in general, was defined by a politeness and respect that simply doesn’t seem to be passed on to the newer generation. I know, I know… I’m becoming one of those old guys who complains about how “in my day”, things were better… But perhaps they were.
This morning I was sitting in a little coffee shop, working on my laptop. I have a table I usually always sit at, which is located next to the main entrance to the shop. This allows me a good view of outside and plenty of light if I happen to be reading instead of on my computer.
As I was working, a mother and young son came in. They were quiet as they entered but it seemed as normal a procession as one could imagine. They went up to the counter and ordered whatever they were there for and my attention was back on my work.
When it came time for them to leave, the mother was in the lead and she held a hot beverage. The son followed behind and held a pastry in his hands and was looking down at his phone. The mother pushed through the door and released it, thinking that the sone would simply catch it as he was following.
Instead, the son was still looking down at his phone and smack full-on into the door. The pastry crushed against him and he dropped it to the floor. He got angry and yelled at his mother: “Mom, what the hell?! Watch what the f&*k you’re doing! You hit me with the door!”
I was floored. This kid couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13 years’ old and the attitude that poured out of him was almost palpable. I was about to stand up and tell this little urchin where he could store his attitude.
I was pleased to see, much to my surprise, that the mother spun around and explained to the boy that not only should he be watching where he walks, but that it wasn’t her fault if he had his eyes down. The for good measure, the mother took the phone away for the son’s use of language.
Well done, mother! Well done!
I’ll be the first to admit that this doesn’t apply to every child these days, but there seems to be an undeserved sense of entitlement. The attitudes and personalities seem to have developed over the past generation to the point where it’s almost ridiculous.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I had spoken to my mother that way, I may or may not have felt the sting of a wooden cook spoon against my backside. Although I’m not a fan of violence, I think kids these days need SOME way of learning that respect. ☯