There is a phrase that says, "No magic potions. No fairy dust. No one to do it for you. Just me. I will push you, show you how to put one determined foot in front of the other. That's what I'll do. I am inside you... I'm called your inner strength. Your dignity. Dig down deep and you'll find me."
Deep within us is an area of our beliefs that feed our emotions. It defines our reactions that we possess in the present and for the future. Dr. Donna Hicks says that one of the deep down beliefs that we crave is "dignity". Dignity is the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect. Even if we don't deserve it, everyone wants to be treated like they are special (respected). But there are two challenges that we face with dignity. The first is, we must possess the qualities that match the high esteemed dignity we desire. Second, is showing others dignity (respect) even when we don't feel it's deserved. To have the total success we desire requires us to possess dignity and give dignity.
3 Dignity Lived Out
1. Acceptance – Let's face it no one is exactly like us. Even if we were twins we would have different views because of our different perceptions and perspectives on what we have experienced. Since everyone has their own uniqueness we can assume that no one will meet our exact standards. With that being the case we must be open to accepting and working with other's differences.
To show dignity (respect) to others, approach people as being neither inferior nor superior. This might require you to be more tolerant of others instead of being critical of their differences. It's also good to give people the benefit of doubt. Assume that others have integrity (no hidden alternative motives) before putting them in the wrongful or offensive category. Give dignity to others because it is what you desire from others.
2. Inclusion – It can be laborious to incorporate people that we feel are weak or would slow down what we want to accomplish. However, improvement in this area requires us to work on making others feel and be a part of what's going on. When I played neighborhood basketball I experienced the power of inclusion. When a team captain picked me to be on his team I was excited and empowered with esteem and worth (dignity). I had an increased desire to do my best and be of value to the one who selected me.
Inclusion goes two ways - You being apart of others and others being apart of you. You can add value to people by taking a moment to include them into what you do and you can increase your value by finding areas to get plugged into.
3. Understand – Steven Covey says we should, "seek to understand before we seek to be understood". Gaining an understanding of what's going on is a part of living out dignity (respect). Recognizing someone else for their talents, hard work, thoughtfulness, and/or assistance is priceless and valuable.
Show dignity with your thoughts and words. Work to treat others justly, without discrimination. Believe that another person's thoughts matter by giving them a chance to explain and express their points of view. Be willing to actively listen for understanding. That is showing dignity to others.
Summary - Learn how to increase your dignity (respect) by determining what you value and showing it to others first. If you want to be accepted, then accept others; if you want to be included, then included others; and if you like to be understood then work to understand others. Personal dignity is only increased when given first.