Disrespecting Your Elders

There are some Korean Immigrants that I have dealt with that see me as being “disrespectful” to them when I don’t follow certain cultural norms as they remembered from their 1970s Korea. They are insulted when I judge them solely by their merits, rather than the mere fact that they are older than me. The concept of “Ancestor” worship stems strong from Confucius roots.

“Respect your elders.”
“Don’t talk back.”
“Know your place.”
“It’s shameful you don’t know how to speak Korean.”

While the mainland of Korea evolved toward Gangnam Style, K-Pop, Oldboy, E-Sports, etc., the Korean immigrants only remember the 1970s Korea they immigrated from and stubbornly stuck to it. They no longer fit in modernized Korea, and are even more irrelevant in America.

Thankfully, most of the 1970s immigrants are retiring or have retired. They contributed a hard working ethic, but their stubbornness to maintain their old, 1970’s “Korean Ways” caused them to be their own worst enemy to further their economic productivity (“work harder, not smarter”). Take my father, for example. He think I’m lazy because I don’t do yard work and instead pay $50/month to have it maintained by Mexican immigrants about two times a month. Yet never realized or did the analysis that he could’ve made about the same or more money renting out his Auto Body Shop than actually operating it (I’m guessing, about 10 years ago). Good luck trying to have an honest discussion about that. The moment you start bringing up “facts,” you are immediately labeled as being “disrespectful.”

SJW argumentative techniques have been around a long time.

I fully embrace Western Individualism, and reject the collectivism of South East Asian cultures. An individual ought to be judged by one’s own merits, rather than their social identity (ie. age, race, etc.). I know what it means to live in a culture that values “traditions” and “societal norms” over careful consideration and thought. I suppose every time I’m faced with such a dilemma, there’s a visceral and emotional reaction that stems from the stupidity and unnecessary suffering I had to endure growing up due to this brainless culture of identity worship.

Some cultures are better than others.