Respect for ‘younger ones’ is a touchy subject, given various ethnic and societal leanings on the matter of respect for seniors, especially in Africa; nevertheless, I think a few things need to be re-evaluated.
The use of the expression “younger one” here refers to younger siblings or extended family members, mentees, and, in some cases, junior colleagues at the office.
I think, for those of us in Africa, we all have gone through the phase where someone seemingly ahead of us hurts us and expects things should just continue as though nothing happened, some of us might even have become so used to it, they can’t even remember they were violated, disrespected or hurt, especially when it is something both parties agree is wrong, as the older person would take offence should same treatment be metted out to him(er).
If/when you hurt, dissappoint or disrespect someone and (s)he acts hurt, as (s)he should be, given that the person stays within the boundaries of what is considered respect/honour (s)he isn’t wrong. You should acknowledge this wrong and apologize as soon as you can or make it up to the person.
Majority of our problems in this country, which we can safely say is a microcosm of our continent, can be linked to thinking older people can’t be wrong, but we all know we all are fallible regardless of our age and experience.
When we hurt those who are seemingly below us and we still want to tell them how, when or how loud to cry, we perpetuate this cycle of frustration, that person grows up to be a person who in turn doesn’t care about the emotions of someone seemingly beneath him.
While concluding this i heard the holy spirit whisper, “I told Paul to write about this too”, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, immediately after admonishing children to obey their parents in the Lord, Paul turns to fathers, and I add elder brothers, elder sisters, mentors, and says “don’t irritate or provoke your children and make them resentful.“ (allow me to merge the KJV and CJB)
When we do not apologise when we wrong these young ones, we make them less expressive, and as I have seen in my sojourn on earth which just started, this stiffles imagination and even creativity because, “If my emotions aren’t valid why should my opinion be?”.
Allow hurt people cry, give room for people to be themselves in expressing their feelings, especially when it’s done courteously. Own mistakes and shortcomings, apologize, and do better next time.
Our society would be better for it, one relationship at a time.
Hope this helps your relationships, both now and in the future.