By Maan de Vera
Raise your hand if you ever had an argument against someone older that you.
As Filipinos, we have been taught to respect those who came before us. As children, we put adults on the pedestals as our all-knowing guides. We brand them as the authority-figures in our lives—be it our parents, older siblings and cousins, teachers, or basically anyone who is older. We seek their advice because more often than not, wisdom comes with age, so talking back is a big no-no.
Which is why as we grow older, it may get confusing when we start getting information from sources not limited to these people. We are able to form our own thoughts and values. Eventually you may turn into a person who might not exactly align with the authority-figures in your lives.
With this, conflict will inevitably arise, and we're here to tell you that it's okay. However, you should always know how to pick your battles, and we’re here to help. Here are the three instances when it’s okay to stand up against “authorities,” and let your voice be heard.
1. When you know something that they don’t
Remember that just because someone is older than you, it doesn’t mean that they know everything. When this happens, don’t let your youth bring you down. It’s fine to speak up about the things that you know of. When in doubt, stick to the facts and your sources.
2. When you are asked a question
We have all been there. When someone asks you a question, try to answer as honestly as possible. Don’t let the fear of knowing that the other party will disagree with what you have to say stop you from speaking your mind. Remember that it’s perfectly fine to have different opinions on things.
3. When you are being disrespected
Respect is not exclusive to those who are older. With this in mind, when you feel someone is attacking you instead of addressing your arguments, you owe it to yourself to speak up. This doesn’t mean that you should start acting disrespectful as well, but you can always explain your side or leave (whichever the situation calls for.)
At the end of the day, it’s really all about standing your ground and sticking to the boundaries that you have developed on your own. This does not in any way make you an ungrateful person for the things that you have learned from these people while you were younger. It only means that you are turning into your own person, and there's nothing wildly wrong in that.
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