These quotations are just brilliant…

… and I am going to make a point of using them every time I come across someone hand-wringing or pearl-clutching about how everything’s going to hell in a handcart, and it’s all the fault of those beastly young people, who don’t know any morals and are just awful, awful people, unlike what it was like back in the day when they knew manners and were respectful to their elders etc, etc.

I’ve acquired these quotes from a comment (4th down, left at 1402 on 13th January – I wish Blogger let you link to individual comments) by XiXiDu on a blogpost by Neuroskeptic.  See, I told you he was one of my favourite bloggers…

What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?

Plato, 428-347 BC


When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.

Hesiod, circa 8th Century BC


We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self control.

Inscription on a 6,000 year old Egyptian tomb

Isn’t that brilliant?  6,000 years ago, back at the very dawn of civilisation, people were saying that the glory-days were gone, and it was all the fault of the beastly young people who didn’t respect their elders like they used to back in the day etc, etc.

Maybe we should amend the statement ‘Death and taxes are the only certainties in life’ to read ‘Death and old people bitching unfairly about the young are the only certainties in life’…

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10 Responses to These quotations are just brilliant…

  1. Neuroskeptic says:

    Heh, I loved that comment as well.

    Also worth bearing in mind that Socrates, the “father of philosophy”, was convicted and executed for “corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens”.

  2. Also, to forestall ‘in my day’ comments, start re-enacting th 4 Yorkshiremen sketch.

  3. aethelreadtheunread says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    Neuroskeptic – I had heard that about Socrates, but i’d forgotten it. If i remembering right now, i think the corruption involved ecouraging them to think for themselves, rather than just accepting what they were told. Who knew Daily Mail columnists were around in ancient Athens… ;o)

    DeeDee Ramona – indeed. :o)

  4. aethelreadtheunread says:

    abysmal musings – Indeed, :o)

  5. It is bothering me that I can’t tell whether these are real or just a meme–specifically the Egyptian one, though I haven’t tried the others.

  6. Okay, here’s a source that the Plato quote is spurious: http://www.bartleby.com/73/195.html

    It’s not that I don’t agree that the sentiment has been universal, but these don’t seem genuine.

  7. Apologies for the multiple comments, but just realized my link above is for a similar but different quote. Still skeptical of those you posted.

  8. The oldest full hieroglyphic sentence is less than 5,000 years old, so the last one has to be fake.

  9. aethelreadtheunread says:

    Hi almost0surreptitious, thanks for commenting.

    This was just intended to be a bit of fun. Try to relax and enjoy them, that’s my advice. :o)

    Edited to add: hmmm, that looks a bit snarky when it’s written out like that – i didn’t intend for it to come across like that. All i mean is some things are more fun when they aren’t investigated, but it wasn’t meant to be a criticism of you for looking into it in more detail. It’s the sort of thing i’d normally do! :o)

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