Obviously, those who are held in great esteem command the respect of others.

In what way are they superior? Well, they possess traits worthy of emulation. So what are the traits?

Through a session of The Hindu Newspaper in Education, students of Standard VII of Holy Cross Girls’ Higher Secondary School were initiated into a couple of activities to have a first-hand experience of the traits that are vital for their transformation into great personalities.

The module ‘ideas do not grow on other people’s head’ was the first component of the theme ‘Being Humane’. At the very outset, the resource person S. Lakshmi asked the students to list instances of their humanitarianism. They came out with responses like helping blind people cross the road, caring for wounded puppy, etc. By narrating the story of Gautham Buddha, Ms. Lakshmi prepared the students’ mind to understand what constitutes commanding respect in the society.

The first of the two activities was making the students go through the photographs in the newspapers in order to identify personalities who command respect and those who are not respectable.

Next activity was dividing them into two groups and assigning each the task of planning a retirement party for a teacher.

The first team came out with the plan of decorations of the celebration venue, presenting a memento and inviting parents. The second team also came out with the idea of carrying out decorations and wished to garland the honour the retiring teacher and presenting a shawl.

There was some discussion on the superiority of the plan of action. There was room for criticism. The resource person intervened during the discussion to explain that inculcating the traits of openness to criticism and the keenness to respect others was the purpose of the exercise.

These are the traits that are common in all great personalities who command respect, said Ms.Lakshmi.