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Respect is only given to prestige

Filed on April 22, 2021

Poverty proved to be one of the motivational factors in my early life. As I grew up in poverty, it automatically transformed me into a frugal, self-reliant and challenge accepting person. But sometimes, I had to bear insults due to my poverty. One such awkward incident taught me how today's world bows before money and respects only the prestige of a person. That insult was permanently carved into my mind.

In my school days, I was once invited to attend a conventional banquet. When the dinner was announced I occupied a seat and began waiting patiently. Just before the meal was served, an elderly person hurriedly came to me. He glanced at my simple and worn out attire and arrogantly told me to vacate the seat. He said that the first batch of the banquet was exclusively reserved for prestigious guests and I should better wait for the second batch. When I vacated the seat, he welcomed a wealthy person and offered the place. I couldn't tolerate the insult and returned home disappointed. With tears in my eyes, I told the entire story to my mother.

She was silent for a moment and then said, "Son, in today's world respect is given only to the prestige of a person. People often get impressed with the gleam of wealth and therefore try to show off luxury. If you want the same respect from others in the future, work hard and acquire prosperity. Earn prestige and then watch the miracle." I never forgot the valuable words of my mother.

I had a similar experience in my early years in Dubai. When I chose business as a career, it was also not in favour of me. I was in the retail business and my social status was merely that of a grocery shopkeeper. Has anyone heard of any prize being offered to this category? Besides, this profession has always remained on the lowest step of the social ladder. My initial experience as a shopkeeper was very disappointing. We were never invited even to a child's birthday party. In a way, it was the life of a castaway. If it was a thankless job, then how could one expect to get accolades? But destiny had certainly decided to reward me. I got my first award for business excellence in 2001 and later, I received a number of national and international awards. I received a lot of publicity and prestige. Invitations for parties from business circles and various clubs started pouring in. The organisers started requesting my presence by messaging me or by sending reminders. I smilingly watched the miracle.

One day the same person who had once insulted me called me and requested my appointment for some personal work. He seemed to have forgotten the incidence. His cunning behaviour, flattery, and acting amused me. I called my mother and said, "Aai, you had spoken the truth. Truly, in today's world respect is given only to the prestige of a person." 

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