How do we improve our relationships and and learn to truly value ourselves? First, we have to see it in ourselves, accept where we came from, where we are now, and decide to live in the present moment with joy and freedom. We need to commit to change. We can’t blame others because we are all responsible. When you develop inner strength and dignity, you will be able to move freely and at ease with everyone…no matter how difficult others might become or how difficult life may become.
Dignity is our inherent value and worth. It doesn’t change because others don’t see or acknowledge it. Dignity is something we all want. Do we recognize it? Do we treat our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers with dignity? If we weren’t raised being treated as worthy, we may tend to hurt others rather than help. We will surely hurt ourselves simply because we don’t believe we are worth anything. While we all enter the world with inborn dignity, it is our responsibility to learn it and teach it. Dignity matters to us all. We all share this need: we must know our value. We must give it our utmost care and attention. How many times have we experienced being treated as if we didn’t matter by others? How many times have we lashed back and returned the dignity violation? How many times have we walked away from an interaction with someone and are left feeling bad? Most likely we have experienced a wound to our dignity. These wounds to our dignity prevent us from resolving conflict if they are not acknowledged and addressed. Our ignorance of all matters related to dignity has caused so much human suffering. It has had a devastating effect on our relationships, yet very little attention has been paid to it. There is no where in our school systems that teach us about dignity and the result is that we have unresolved conflicts everywhere we turn–in our families, in our friendships, in the workplace, in our schools and between nations. What can we do about it? How do we learn to recognize and embrace our own dignity and be convinced that we are worthy?
If you have a sense of self-doubt and unworthiness, it is time to find the cause and change your course. Having low self-respect can be traced back to being treated badly as a child. Kids need to be shown that they are worthy by their caretakers. When they are abused, mistreated and neglected instead, they think something is wrong with them; they believe they are flawed, not smart enough, or not worthy of their caretaker’s love and attention. At the root is this: a lack of awareness of the negative impact we have on others.
Here are a few actions that you can take right now to realize your value and treat all beings with respect and loving-kindness.
1. All human beings have inherent value. We are all vulnerable. When we treat others badly, we create pain and suffering. When you honor others worth – dignity – you strengthen your own.
2. There are ways to show others you that you value them and recognize their worth. Approach people as being neither inferior nor superior to you. Give others the freedom to express their authentic selves without fear of being negatively judged. Interact without prejudice or bias, accepting the ways in which race, religion, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, age and disability may be at the core of the other person’s identity. Assume that others have integrity. Make others feel that they belong, whatever the relationship–whether they are in your family, community, organization or nation. Put people at ease at two levels: physically, so they feel safe from bodily harm, and psychologically, so they feel safe from being humiliated. Help them feel free to speak without fear of retribution. Listen to people, show appreciation and gratitude. Treat people with equality, Start with the premise that others have good motives and are acting with integrity. Believe that what others think matters. Actively listen in order to understand them. Take responsibility for your actions.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up when someone violates you. There are ways to defend your dignity without violating the dignity of the person who violated you. Take feedback from others. We all need the loving eyes of others to help us see the ways we are unknowingly hurting them.
You are worthy!