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Watchmen, car and the salutes : The Fragile Respect

I always wondered what earns you respect. When you respect a person, what is actually respected? Is it the person? Or his car? His tablet? His cellphone? His clothes?

I noticed how fragile respect is a few days ago.

As one can observe around, the number of security guards has gone up spirally in last few years. The number is expected to go up further in coming years at least in countries like India. We find them everywhere- at the gates of housing societies, in malls, at hotel entrances and also at all the public places.

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I have noticed one thing about security guard in this whole country- they salute you if you drive a car. When I did not have a car and I used to commute on my bike, I used to observe how these guards salute the persons having a car. Persons with car are always welcomed with a salute by security guards everywhere. As I used to go on a bike, I was never fortunate enough to get a salute.

Then came the days when I got a car. The first day I took it out, I was showered with the salutes everywhere- on the gate of my own society, at the entrance of my company, at the entrance of shopping mall where I went to shop in the evening. So it works, I thought.

This became the routine- salute while going out of the society gate, then while entering the company and same on the way back. After a few days, due to some reason, one day I again rode a bike. To my surprise, I didn’t get a single salute. For so many days, these watchmen were greeting me with the widest smile and a tight salute, I thought they, by now know me. This was a great realization for me. This showed me how fragile respect is. This meant, none of these guards had even looked at my face. They just saw the car and saluted- the respect was for the money and the car and not for the person.

This made me think further. Do we respect a person or his possessions? Do we respect a person or his wealth or knowledge? Unknowingly, we keep on judging people based on how they are dressed, what vehicle they drive and which brands they wear. We even judge persons based on their degrees and appearance and then decide whether to respect him or not.

If you respect a person for his possessions and not for what the person is, you are insulting the person. You are respecting dead things over the living beings.

By Mandar Karanjkar

Mandar Karanjkar is author, motivational speaker and consultant based in Pune. Mandar works with handful of organizations helping them with strategy, communication and culture. Mandar is trained in Indian Classical Music over a decade. He is a classical singer and flute player.

Mandar has written columns for many reputed newspapers. Engineer by profession, he conducts workshops and delivers talks on subjects as wide as strategy, innovation, online marketing, spirituality, Kabir, Zen etc.

Mandar is a published author.

2 replies on “Watchmen, car and the salutes : The Fragile Respect”

🙂 very true… time swings to and fro.. people with high time when get down low(in position and possession) come to know who is really a good friend and who is not. Difficult situations in life come not to eat you up but to make you realize who really is your true friend. And respect your presence as a “being”.

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