Itâ€™s always interesting to listen to one of Dr. Zubairâ€™s talks, not just because theyâ€™re surprisingly informal, but because they contain that very rare flavor that usual Pakistani speeches lackâ€¦ simplicity. Yesterday when he spoke of respect, and how â€œaaj kal ke daur keâ€ students seem to lack it, it seemed to me to be a very simple statement to make. I canâ€™t help thinking that maybe the situation is a bit more complex then Dr. Zubair and other members of the faculty think.
Itâ€™s very easy to say that one should respect oneâ€™s teachers. And saying that â€˜respect has to be earnedâ€™ is another clichÃ© that is used again and again. Iâ€™d say itâ€™s the other way around.
When a student walks into a certain teacherâ€™s class for the first time, he/she instinctively respects him. Itâ€™s inborn. We donâ€™t step into a lecture for the first time already hating the teacher. We begin doing that after the 3rd class or the 4th (in extreme cases, the first ten minutes are enough). Iâ€™d say respect is gradually lost. As a student I know that I actually look for teachers to admire, to look to as role models. We search for teachers to respect, and good teachers are held high by TIPians even in this â€œdisrespectfulâ€ age.
The silence that prevailed throughout Dr. Zubairâ€™s talk spoke volumes about the regard the students of TIP have for him. I know from personal experience that this instituteâ€™s students enjoy nothing more than heckling at people on stage.
So why complain about lack of respect?
To bring a complete twist to the matter, letâ€™s see who actually needs respect here. The TISF does. Being a TISF Secretary is a thankless, shitty job and the President of the TISF seems to be getting thinner and losing hair. The people who ever accidentally give stage performances in TIP events should be respected. Theyâ€™re viciously heckled, and seem to be there simply to be thrown verbal tomatoes at, but theyâ€™re still gutsy enough to be up there doing something (rather than hiding in a dark auditorium and screaming â€œhoye hoye hoye!)
Another minority that deserves to be respected in TIP is the designers. Cut off from almost all of the instituteâ€™s active daylight activities, trapped in our overrated air-conditioned studios, you can spot a designer by the dark circles under her eyes and the over sized bag sheâ€™ll be hoisting on her shoulders. I tell you sincerely, sciences and management students should fall on their knees and thank God theyâ€™re not in our shoes.
But just saying that somebody deserves respect doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re going to get it. Respect is a much too difficult concept for most of us to grasp at the moment, in fact I think it would be a huge achievement if we could just start tolerating each otherâ€™s right to exist as individuals first (I can already hear the cat-calling begin).