Have we ever thought how the culture of giving respect has been designed and is part of our conscious and subconscious memory? Giving respect and expecting respect in return has become a part of our social system. I was attending a meeting in Bihar sometime back. In a small room, all the girls and boys were discussing about their studies, their education resource centers, issues of young students and much more.
In an area where everyone talks in a rough way, these children were talking differently. In their conversation, a sense of respect for each other was prominent. It was strange for me and it made me wonder what had caused this massive change in the way they hold conversations. After inquiring whether they all talk like this in their own community and family space, a girl answered telling me that we realised that among ourselves we were very rough to each other and never considered each other valuable. Moreover, our parents were not respectful to us; they use to call us names, resulting in the outsiders doing the same. She went on to tell me that when they became a part of this group, together they made it one of the non-negotiable rules that every individual will treat one another with respect and there will be no space for people who are not serious about establishing their identities, so others can see that they valued themselves and each other.
It was prominent that these children were well behaved and mature. The way they were discussing their issues even when they were not agreeing with each other was commendable.
This was a great example and an inspiration about the importance of respecting ourselves and each other. It is not just a fundamental right but also our moral duty as a human being. And this learning was refreshed by these 15 children sitting in a dark dingy room somewhere in the Dhanurwa block in Patna!