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Respect is only given to prestige

Filed on April 24, 2021

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar


Poverty proved to be one of the motivational factors in my early life. It automatically transformed me into a frugal, self-reliant and challenge accepting person. Sometimes, I had to bear insults due to my poverty. One such  incident taught me how today’s world respects only the prestige of a person.

In my school days, I was once invited to attend a conventional banquet. When the dinner was announced I occupied a seat. 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 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. I told the entire story to my mother.

She 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.” I never forgot the valuable words of my mother.

I had a similar experience in my early years in Dubai. 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. We were never invited even to a child’s birthday party.

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. 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.

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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