Respect?

First: Wow has it been a long time since I wrote something on here! What can I say, 2020-2021 has been a crazy ride for all of us!

The other day I was at an event that typically begins with the Star Spangled Banner being played prior to the event. The event was the kind of event that had a variety of ages and demographics in attendance.

One group in our vicinity was a group of teenagers. At the beginning of the National Anthem, as the announcer requested, everyone stood. Approximately 1/3 into the Anthem, one teenager in the group took his seat while everyone else remained standing.

At the conclusion of the song, an older man, of the baby boomer generation, wearing a hat that would indicate previous military involvement made a direct line to the group of teens. He addressed the teens, and the one that was sitting in particular, stating, “Next time you will stand for the Anthem, or I will make you stand.”

I do not know the teenager in question, which means there are many factors that I am not aware of:
* His mental health
* His physical health
* His religious convictions
* His home life
* His political views, if any
* Any number of other factors that could have led to him sitting down.

What I am aware of:
* He sat down
* He did not make a scene
* He was not causing a problem

In that moment, the “adult” in the scenario allowed his personal beliefs to over rule his logic. In the quest to impress his version of “respect” upon the younger generation, the result was the exact opposite.

In that moment, respect, personal choice, individual liberties were all thrown aside, being replaced instead by an adult threatening to put their hands on a minor.

How did we come to this place? How are we so certain we are right all the time, with the boldness to aggressively advance on a stranger for simply sitting?

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