What is dignity, and why is it important to us as human beings and our human experience? Rather than try to define dignity in physical terms, I feel it easier for me to define its experience. One such experience was the soft spoken-ness of my grandmother, which was inherited by her children, and perhaps by me to some extent. By lowering their voices and weighing their words, particularly in times of great stress, all my elders showed me that dignity can flow from speaking softly, kindly and with deliberation.
Why may we need dignity in speech? Perhaps because it isn’t even possible to have dignity in our actions if our speech is corrupted by indignities of the mind.
How may one develop dignity of thought? One way is to purify the heart, whence the mind’s layers of dirt get flushed with silence, beauty and awareness of the truth that we are.
Yes. We are back to the work of the heart’s purity. One way to purity is to work with an attitude of loving service, as we remind ourselves, and those we may be privileged to serve, of our shared human dignity. Every verdict that “bends the long arc of the moral universe a bit more toward justice”, every invitation by someone to break bread with them, every softly spoken word whispered to us in the hour of our awareness, seeds dignity within us.
It is with these new seeds of dignity that we find the courage to rise yet again, and continue our walk towards that permanent love and grace which is available to all. Our walk need not be complete or complex. In fact the simpler the better, the more dignified it usually is.
This reminds me. It’s time for a cup of tea. One join me. Namaste,
P.S. Join in our weekly chat on Twitter, Sunday April 25 at 9amET / 630pm India as we share some tea, fruit, flowers and cookies. Namaste – @AjmaniK