Dignity: Our Greatest Natural Resource
Often on the news, or during conversations that take place at coffee shops or in our homes, people talk about the protection and use of our Natural Resources. Opinions are given, points shared, as people wax poetic about their personal belief about the best use of the Natural Resources we have around us. Usually the natural resources discussed are things like fresh water, natural gas, oil, and coal. While all of these natural resources, and the way we use or support them are vitally important, the Natural Resource I would like to highlight here is one that does not come from the ground, but rather emerges from you, as an individual. That natural resource is Dignity.
A while ago I wrote about Grace, and now I would like to mention Graces, sweet sister, Dignity. You see these two are like twins, or a married couple that has always seemed to be together from the time you knew them. Doesn’t it seem that the moment you understood the concept or definition of Grace, you seemed to intrinsically be able to understand what dignity is as well?
Unlike most natural resources, grace and dignity does not come from the earth. Rather, they come from the fact that we are on the earth. They sometimes can be found or manifest themselves in the most easy to find places, like a person stepping out of a cabin, and clearly seeing a fresh spring. But sometimes, it appears that they both are as hard to find as a moving wind turbine on a day when the air sits still.
While in some ways Grace and Dignity seem to have a lot in common, they are actually quite different. Grace in its simplest of forms, is a gift. A way of treating one another, simply because you as the person providing Grace, chooses to do so. The gift of Grace, can literally be a life saver, and when given to some one who needs it most, Grace can act as an agent of change, to allow some one a new beginning or a soft landing. Dignity is actually much different.
I view Dignity in some ways as almost the polar opposite of Grace. You see, it is not a gift. You, me all of us, due to the sheer fact that we are here, are born with dignity. It is part of the make up of us. Our dignity, is as much of us, as any of our DNA. While it cannot be given as Grace can be, unfortunately, it can be “taken from us” or maybe even worse, ignored by us, who own it. No person can give you dignity, you have it already. They can try to rob you of it, much as a thief would try to take what is yours. But no one can give you some thing, in this case Dignity, that you already posses.
I often ponder why it appears that some people like to “rob” others of their dignity, expressed differently, have you ever wondered why a person would belittle another, maybe in front of family or friends for no real reason? Have you ever wondered why, some one would be aware of a persons vulnerabilities, and exploit them anyway?
When things like the scenarios I just referenced happen, a persons dignity can be taken, and when that happens, part of who that person is, seems to disappear. Many times the only ointment, for this type of situation, comes from Grace shown by some one else to the person who had their dignity taken. Again the twins or life partners, Grace and Dignity balance and support each other.
While people trying to rob others of their dignity is sad to me, when a person feels so low about themselves , that they seem to not feel worthy of the dignity that exists in them, is something even more. Sort of when the ”why me” a person may utter to themselves spirals down to the, “I don’t deserve such and so.” Dignity exists always in every one, we just sometimes have to look in the attic of ourselves some times to remember it is there. That it fits us still , and we look good wrapped in it.
You may ask, how could we always have dignity, if it can be taken or robbed from us? Because our dignity, never stays away long. It is part of us, part of our DNA, and it finds its way back to us. While we own our dignity and it is part of us, acts as simple as a hello, opening of a door, or making time for conversation, show others that you are aware that they have dignity as well.
Our natural resources need to be protected, used wisely and productively. Cannot the same be said for our dignity?
Written By: Darren Redmond
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