Looking for Dignity

Dignity. The definition of this noun is wide ranging and includes: the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect, a composed or serious manner or style, a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect, and a high or honorable rank or position. What all that says to me is that dignity can be conferred, earned, or innate. The problem is that many refuse to recognize the dignity of others. Some folks refuse to acknowledge their own dignity. This leads to self abasement. It can result in self loathing, racism, hatred, and in some cases violence against others and self.

Out of all the problems in this world, denying dignity of self and others causes more strife and anger than nearly anything I can think of. So what to do? I suppose it all starts with a little navel gazing. If we can individually recognize our own self worth then we can widen our view to include others. People laughed at the Saturday Night Live skits with the character Stuart Smalley and his mantra “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough, and doggone it people like me.” The idea of daily affirmations was to many comical. However in a world where we are bombarded with negative messages about physical appearance, intelligence, education, career, gender, religion, etc. it becomes essential to have some sort of self talk that is positive.

How do you combat the onslaught of barbs and thinly veiled assaults to your self esteem? How do you support the dignity of others?
Yes, there are things going on that I can’t discuss in a public forum. I am an old hand at weathering these storms but it does wear on you after so many years…

27 thoughts on “Looking for Dignity

  1. We can learn a lot from Stuart Smalley and this piece. I think you have highlighted the right steps – affirm and reaffirm the value of yourself then you are better equipped to see and acknowledge the value in others.


  2. I agree that affirmation is a key — self affirmation first, then affirmation of others. Speaking of dignity, there’s something about a state funeral of such a beloved man, with tears of rain rolling down the window behind the TV!


  3. I must be doing ok with my own self worth, because I care a lot more about the dignity of others. I know bullies etc attack others when their own self worth is in danger. Maybe that’s why I make such an effort to build up the young ones. I’m no saint., not even to myself, but I know the importance of kindness.


    1. Being comfortable in your own skin makes it easier to care about others. Kindness is something that should be an integral component in all educational programs!! (though I’m not sure how it could be taught).


  4. I’m not sure how to answer this, Muri. You’re right, dignity starts inside. And to achieve that, you have to know who/what you are and be comfortable in your own skin. I let my hair go gray, eschew make-up, wear Birkenstocks with socks, drive an old car, live in a small house, treat my pets like children, wash my dishes by hand, hang laundry on the clothesline, recycle, vote Dem, and write poetry. I get teased all the time about looking old or plain Jane, being nerdy, a tightwad, hippie, granola girl, luddite, daydreamer, or liberal. You know what? I’m all of those things, and I’m OK with it. By letting my freak flag fly, so to speak, I’ve found like-minded friends, which are way better than the fake kind who only like you if you look and act like them. Be yourself, unabashedly, and you will be a magnet for the right people, ones who will love you just as you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You have proven your point precisely! I have found you and you found me and we are very alike… I refuse to color my hair, I have my own style which causes some people a bit of discomfort, I’m frugal, I reduce, replace, recycle, and reuse most everything, and I take after my mother (aka bleeding-heart liberal bitch as she has been referred to by some less than generous ultra conservatives who took offense at an editorial she penned). Some people think I’m conservative but it is only a facade due to years of flying below the radar. As soon as I retire I’m flying the freak flag 24/7 and I’m a gonna have the tallest flag pole in Indiana!! Hehe!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Spirituality helps me maintain my dignity, and to recognize the natural and inherent dignity of others. Plus, the more we recognize that, the better our relationship with ourselves and others becomes.


  6. Good post. I attempt to avoid people who are negative and mean spirited…those who insist on being ‘ugly’ to others. I, myself, attempt to affirm others..I think it’s majorly important for us to affirm even when we disagree. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. I’m with you. However I can’t always avoid certain people. Even though I’ve tried to “kill them with kindness” they persist in being sour. The negativity vortex grows stronger the closer we get to Christmas – I do believe that evil is present and working in opposition to the goodness of God…. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Ps 31:24


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