During my stay in Lahore, I had the honour of meeting a saintly person called Wasif Ali Wasif. He was known as an intellectual, poet and journalist. However; I knew him only as a saint. He is no more with us. In one of his gatherings, one day, somebody stated in some context that Pakistan was better off than India in that no one in Pakistan went to bed hungry. Every body got at least one meal a day. On hearing this the colour of Wasif sahib's face changed. His response was: "But at what cost?" Then he explained that that one meal a day was mostly at the cost of self- respect. The statement of a saint does not require verification - but I can testify from my own observation that the employers in our country think it their right to injure the self-respect of their subordinates. The subordinates also tolerate it either by force of habit or out of the fear of losing employment. This is extremely unfortunate. We must remember that a person whose self-respect we hurt can never be our friend. He may not always harm us, but he can never be sincere to us, either. The habits of disregarding the self-respect of others and of tolerating insult to one's own self; have made us good subordinates and bad bosses. Further, we have blurred the distinction between subordination and slavery. We have not so far been able to get rid of the slavish mentality. We have turned sycophancy into an art. In fact, in the matter of flattery, we vie with each other. May God spare us slavery. The indications are, however, ominous. Nevertheless, there is no difference between an animal and a human being without honour. A nation without honour can hardly survive as an independent nation. We need to do a lot of soul searching in this behalf. The writer is a retired judge of the Lahore High Court E-mail: samdani1_2000@yahoo.com