He was in his final year college, and had just given his final exams. He waited for 2 months for his results to come. This last exam was the culmination of his fruit of labour over many years. The outcome of his efforts would soon be in public domain. He would in a way be judged by the marks he obtained. It was the call of judgement. The results gave his sincere efforts a thumbs up. He had shone with flying colors, he got a distinction. He got a pat on his back from his parents.
But in reality many of us find it so difficult to give a pat on the back of someone else. It's as if saying they are better than us. It's like accepting their superiority, and doing so makes us feel inferior. Our ego is too strong, it is not willing to submit. It seems as if a pat on the back is more about emotion than reality. The emotion where the limelight is taken away from us. The reality of the achievement matters less. The pain at the loss of limelight appears too great.
The rat race has ensured we rise when we put others down. There is so much competition. It's a competition of achievement, glory, power, fame, and wealth. To prove one up on another means we will be respected in public. This is the false, outward respect. But the true, inner respect has to be earned differently. It is earned when you don't consider yourself a rat and you don't feel you are running a race. In this state, you live free of ego. There is simplicity, and purity. In this state, you automatically touch the hearts of people. You touch it in such a way that they yearn for your magical human touch again and again. You make them feel special in many ways. You recognize their special talents. You do this by constantly encouraging them, and giving them a pat on the back.