Respect was a very important word in our vocabularies till a decade ago but it seems that it has become extinct, not only from our vocabularies but also from our lives. A nation that has started abandoning its elders, putting frail parents in old homes and handicapped siblings in SOS homes or Edhi homes, has brought tears to many eyes.I remember an incident narrated by Ashfaq Ahmed in one of his books showing the respect, that developed countries give to their teachers. He says: “Once in Rome (Italy) I had to appear before a magistrate for not paying my fine on time. When the judge asked me the reason for the delay, I told him that I was a teacher and that I had been busy for some days, before I could complete my sentence, the judge said, ‘A teacher is in the court.’ On hearing this, all the people present there stood up, along with the judge. That day I realised the secret of the development of those nations”. His point was that there are some professions and relations that deserve respect without asking, but in our schools and colleges, the teachers are not respected anymore. Students don’t stand up to great the teachers, or stand up while answering a question. In our anxiety to copy the west, we are taking only bad habits and abandoning our good traditions.NOOR ARSHAD, Karachi, May 14.