Respect is a small word that has so much importance in our daily life and plays a key role. Is it possible for us to live without it (Respect)? Absolutely ‘no’. We are depending on it for our survival with dignity. Recently when a few of us met and started chatting, a journalist opined that there is a need to throw some light on ‘Respect’.

“While we write official letters, we address our bosses as ‘Respected Sir’. I feel it is a disgrace to do so” he said.

“Yes, he is right, use of such a prefix while addressing makes no sense. But we obey the system by addressing our boss as ‘Respected Sir’ and there is no escape” – the chorus claimed.

I interfered and began to analyze the word ‘Respect’.

“This word is being used in many forms, and subject to the usage it provides varied meaning” – I said.

Other friends did not show interest in my explanation. ‘What does it mean?’ – questioned one.

“We are following the tradition of British. In state and central government offices, adherence to this practice is inevitable. Whether we are interested or not, we should address our bosses as ‘Respected Sir’. But personally, I feel there is nothing wrong in this” – I explained.

Again all of the others started a mini war. I sought them to listen fully and carefully. Luckily, all of them appeared to oblige.

When we address our boss as ‘Respected Sir’, it does not mean that we are respecting him nor does it mean that we are bowing. There was a retort. What does it mean? Explain properly, one asked.

‘What do you mean by ‘Respected Sir’? It is in passive voice and we are just reminding the boss that ‘He is a respected Sir’ and it is nowhere mentioned that ‘I respect’. ‘You are respected’ as it means to me, I said.

It seemed that they are a bit convinced. One gentleman asked whether we are not losing ‘self respect’ by addressing ‘Respected Sir’ and I said ‘Not at all’.

Hope you would agree to my comment. ‘Dear Sir’ and ‘Sir’ are other usages. We cannot write all of our superiors ‘Dear Sir’, as a subordinate employee is not supposed to address his boss as ‘Dear’. He should use ‘Sir’ or ‘Respected Sir’.

Another friend had brought into light an incident. One of his colleagues was drafting official letters and addressing the boss of his boss as ‘Dear Sir’ as both of them had intimacy. One fine day, that super boss was transferred and a young lady boss had taken charge. As usual a letter was drafted and he addressed his chief as ‘Dear Madam’. The letter was sent to the lady boss and the very next day she banged the junior official and instructed not to use ‘Dear’ in official letters for her. It was an eye opener for many others and they were cautious while addressing lady bosses.

‘Give Respect and Take Respect’ is a usual sentence we come across. While two friends or even two unknown persons start argument on some useful or useless topic, instruct each other to give respect and take respect. After the argument they part by shaking hands and leave with smiling faces.

The word ‘Respect’ is very valuable for traditional people. We are supposed to respect our elders and teachers. There is an adage on Respect. It goes like: If a respected person advises another person respectfully, it is a respect for the latter to heed the respected person respectfully.