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Strength of Character #2: Dignity

“For all these mysteries, I thank you; for the wonder of myself, for the wonder of your works.”  Psalms 129:13-14

Dignity is a sense of worthiness and respect; for and of ourselves and others.  Whatever one’s faith or none at all, it is about understanding that we each matter.  As my 91 year old mother was rushed to hospital today, with pneumonia…. it was not lost on me the moments of dignity made manifest; by staff and strangers alike.  There were moments witnessed, amongst the hustle of hospital life, where people saw each other.  I saw it in medical staff.  I saw it in other families.  I saw it in my college students who saw me as another human and real person.  I saw it in servers.  I saw it in friends.  There were other moments that showed the lack thereof.

So, what was the difference?

The power of dignity is that it takes no more or less time, but its investment is rich.  Dignity does not require perfection.  It does not require anything other than seeing people, all people, for the fact that they matter.  Dignity is a powerful trait for a leader.  It is a virtue of great value.  It says “I see you” and “I value you”.  It screams in a whisper “I value myself”.  It allows for the uncovering of capacities amidst those with whom we work, and serve and play.  Dignity is the lens through which we see both potential and greatness in ourselves and those we encounter.  It encourages because it believes, inherently, in our worth.

As you teach, lead, serve, work, create, play, and live… consider the power of dignity in your interactions.  Assess where you might need to hold it for yourself.  Assess where you might need to use it to view others.  Like Amanda Marshall sings everybody’s gotta story.  What is yours?

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

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