The true meaning of respect…

    As kids, we are all time told to do ‘namastey’ to our elders, bow in obeisance in front of the God and so on.

    These things are taught to us which become an important part of our personality over a period of time – so much so that saying thank you and sorry come naturally to us and we invariably close our eyes and slightly bow our head each time we see a temple even from a distance.

    But what about people? Do we really stop to say sorry to someone whom we just nudged or pushed or on whose foot we overstep, albeit unintentionally?

    When I was a child, I used to observe my father – how he would make small-talk with the liftman of a building, the waiter in a restaurant we went to dine and so on.

    One very valuable thing I have learnt from my father is to respect all individuals – especially those who do menial jobs (as they are almost never treated well for the fear of them taking undue advantage).

    At Athena School of Management, I reiterate this fact to my students, not just in class but outside too – that a man’s true character is not when he respects his boss or seniors or someone stronger (out of fear) or from someone whom he would get something in return; but when he respects someone who is weaker than him and who is of no use to him.

    Another factor, which I wish to state with regard to respect, is that, that you can show true reverence for a person not just in their presence but more importantly in their absence.

    So the next time you meet the lift man of our residential or office building, just say thank you to him for punching in the floor number for you (and in some cases manually opening the lift door for you) or say thank you to the auto driver for dropping you home safely. Say sorry to someone you unintentionally nudged or pushed in a crowded local train and realized later. Make small talk with not just your neighbor but with an old lady wanting to cross the road while helping her do so.

    My suggestion to all you young minds aspiring to be future leaders is that you sometimes need to blow your own trumpet but make

    Chances are, you will become more empathetic – an important trait we at Athena, teach our students.

    - Prof. Anwesha Ghosh (Athena School of Management - Powai)