Dignity

I’ve always wondered what it meant when someone says – “you got to be dignified”. We ordinarily associate dignity with rank, status and power for the reason that it connotes respect, nobility and elevation in character. But do all of these so called successful people possess dignity ? If you have met accomplished people who thoroughly impressed you with their meekness and quiet self-respect  I’m sure you also met those whose preoccupation in life is to show off or talk about other people’s private lives,  so amused at the misery others are going through. Here’s an excerpt from the book Rules of Life that may offer some snippets of wisdom on what having dignity means.

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RULE 31 – HAVE DIGNITY

I’ve spent years watching successful people, and I don’t just mean successful as in having lots of money or a big shot career. In fact one of the most successful people I ever met lived incredibly frugally and simply and reclusively and yet cracked it in a really big way – happiness, peace and contentment. This was a person you could have swiped an inner smile off even if you have tried.

Almost all successful people have a sense of their own dignity. Now what do I mean by this ? Well, they are all pretty solid in themselves, they have worked out who they are and what they are about. They don’t need to show off, brag about what they have or who they are. They don’t need to draw attention to themselves because they aren’t particularly interested in what we think – they are too busy getting on with things in their own lives. They maintain decorum ( lovely old-fashioned word that) not because they are frightened of making a fool of themselves or falling flat on their face but they simply can’t be bothered by attention seeking stuff.

It is so important – if you want to be a successful Rules Player – to show poise, gravitas, a be a bit separate from the herd, have good manners, be polite and considerate and to be others might like to look up to. You don’t have to be all aloof and stand-offish, serious and grown up. You can let your hair down – just don’t go out of control completely. You can still relax – just don’t fall off the edge. Dignity is about showing self-respect and having quiet self-esteem. It is amazing how others will respect you and hold you in greater esteem when you start the ball rolling.

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I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A government’s role is the preservation of human dignity for it matters not who are governing, their power, riches and intellectual achivements, if the people are wallowing in poverty and hopelessness.
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