Ruder and Ruder Behavior

Old people. It seems like the world is full of them walking around slowly with sticks and taking drugs; drugs to keep them alive and healthy beyond the lifespan dictated for them by nature but nevertheless, still drugs. Just Say No kids.

Something you may have noticed about old people, apart from the chronic drug taking, is the way they enjoy complaining about how rude the younger generations are.
I was recently reading a list of things people found insufferable about the modern world. Everything you would expect was there: feet on seats, gum chewing, headphones with noise leaking out, shop assistants who serve you while having an animated conversation with their friends, all the usual malarkey. The one that really caught my eye was from the old gentleman who cited a general lack of respect from youngsters towards people of his age and a general lack of recognition of the time they gave Jerry what for.

I’m sure that most of us, at one time or another, have heard of or been subjected to the “You lot aren’t grateful for all we did for you during the war!” tirade from somebody old. I’ve a growing temptation to answer with a tirade of my own along the lines of “You lot aren’t grateful for all we’re doing for you in Iraq and Afghanistan!” That’s something old people never think of is it? Maybe they should start giving up seats on the bus to show how grateful they are to us lot. Where do their pensions come from, eh? Young people’s National Insurance payments, that’s where!

Perhaps the trouble is not a lack of respect, but a lack of pride. Maybe there is an expectation that I and my generation should be proud of what our parents or grandparents did during the war.
Only one of my grandparents fought in the war. The other lacked a full complement of legs so did something else instead but the grandfather who did was a Commando. He spent a week in a tank with a number of dead comrades unable to leave due to the shelling. When he did eventually get home there were medals. There was probably even jam for tea. Should I be proud that he endured that? Or should I hate that it had to happen at all?
My Great-Uncle was held in a Concentration camp. He was later held in a POW camp. Should I be proud of him? If he was alive today, should I respect him for fighting in the war? Even though he was conscripted into what is generally held to be the losing side?

I am thankful that I have never had to join an army. I disagree with war. I disagree with Iraq. It does not stop my thanks to them who do the things I will not so that I may hold such opinions. It does not stop my thoughts being with the families of the children who don’t come home, whichever side they are fighting on.