Do you recognize dignity?

recognize dignity

I heard a quote yesterday that stopped my hyper-active brain, dead in it’s thoughts. My friend Barry quoted one of his students.  I didn’t catch her name, but she had something profound to say.

We don’t give people dignity, we recognize the dignity that is in them. 

In our privileged lives, it’s easy to think we’re offering dignity to people who are less fortunate or of “less status“.

When we interact with rowdy children, our belligerent boss, the homeless man on the street corner, the elderly woman with dementia, the young bagger at the grocery store, the janitor, or the single mom dancing her way through school, we might think we are offering them something by interacting kindly with them.  But what we’re really doing is recognizing who they already are.

We’re seeing beyond their circumstances, their poor choices, their unfortunate situation, to the person they are.  The person, who by nature, is full of dignity that often isn’t recognized. I wonder what would happen if we shifted our thinking just a bit.

What if, instead of giving people dignity, we started recognizing it in them and calling it out?

What if we looked for it, expecting to find it?  

We would.

to more love,


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