scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Sir Names?
Wed Apr 12 2000 - 14:32:06 CDT
I've wondered from time to time over the past 12 years (ever since having
kids) why it is that (seemingly) most people who grew up as "baby boomers"
or later seem to have a hard time "letting go" of their youth and
"becoming" Mr. Smith or Mrs. Smith? This seems to apply across the board;
that is, it is not restricted to scouts and scouting.
When I was growing up in the 50s-60s, no adult whatsoever, in any context,
was ever referred to with their first name by a kid. This was a simple
matter of courtesy (and, as I seem to remember, a Scout is Courteous).
Also, the adults back then didn't seem to have any problems with being
called Mr. or Mrs. But, these days, the main thing that I hear from other
adults is "oooh -- that sounds like my father's name, and he's soooo old --
I don't want any of that". Face it, folks -- we *are* adults (at least,
most of us on this list), and encouraging 14-year-olds to call us "Mike" or
"Joey" isn't a'gonna change that fact...
Respect is an entirely different issue from courtesy, and maybe that's the
"problem" here: you can be courteous to someone that you don't respect (I
can hear Miss Manners nodding approvingly in the background). However, the
opposite rarely applies: that is, being discourteous to someone you *do*
It seems to me that there isn't nearly enough courtesy either taught or
enforced among kids these days -- of course, this starts way before Boy
Scouts (i.e., in Cub Scouts, or even Nursery School). I don't expect the
youth to respect me just because I'm an adult or because I'm a scout leader
-- I need to earn that. However, I do expect them to be courteous, and
that includes addressing me as "Mr. Pershing" or at least "Mr. P".
John A. Pershing Jr. <email@example.com>
ACM Pack 36 / ASM Troop 36, Westchester-Putnam (NY) Council