We have a root too, my friend. The mandala of the soul has a center.
I have to ask. What is dignity?
Your personal level of respect?
Knowing your values and what you will accept or not and how you treat others. Expectations.
Conducting oneself with good values and respect for self and others.
An expectation we have of ourselves for “proper” behaviour, and that can vary between people. Key word is “ourselves” and not the judgement of others. Some believe that the only reason we try to maintain personal dignity is because of our fear of other people’s judgements.
Does it seem to anyone else that these ideas range a fair bit? In some cultures, to lash out when insulted is not dignified. In others, to refuse to strike the person who insults you is undignified.
Ladies have to be ladies all the time. Can’t make a scene or draw attention to yourself. I honestly try to undermine my wife’s “lady like” behavior just a little bit, but why would I want to do that?
It limits freedom of expression. Presumably because you are her best advocate and want her to have a variety of experiences.
Kids are taught to be seen and not heard but then they don’t know how to be heard when they are faced with a decision. Indeed. We demand dignity from children but undermine any means they would have of asserting it.
Dignity as it stands in today’s society, well… What outcomes does it offer us? Does being dignified keep you from telling lies?
It is likely to increase the lies we tell. The truth about people is often undignified, and we also tell lies to save our dignity or that of another. If we will lie to preserve dignity, what good comes of it?
We hide our true selves or lose the opportunity for real communication with another. Yes. The more misinformation going around, the poorer judgements made using it. This seems natural, no? What is perhaps the first thing we are ever taught to create and maintain in our lives?
A loving bond? Ideally, in those cases, yes, and I mean no offense, but is that what you were really taught? We bond naturally on our own. We smile and reach for our parent without any special training. What is the first thing taught?
It seems the first message, and the one that seems to be at the heart of everything even in adult life is, “Behave!” Better behave or parents will get you. Better behave or law enforcement will get you. Better behave or government will get you, to state things simply.
Or behave so that you will fit in. Yes. Better behave or partner will reject you. Better behave or society will reject you. Strange thing, even recent neuroscience is showing that threat doesn’t discourage a behavior. What happens when someone gives you one of those subtle “behave or else” messages? They find that the brain can’t tell the difference with much clarity between rejection and pain or being attacked. And being attacked makes people aggressive, no?
Being attacked teaches you how to protect yourself? And it can also teach you that your own herd is out to get you. The consciousness of being a “lone wolf” can lead to some very self-serving behavior, often as a best case scenario.
Punishment just pushes stuff underground for a while. True. So why don’t we “listen to reason” and just behave ourselves? More awareness leads to more choices of behavior and more constructive outcomes, but what does the command to behave tell us other than, “You have no choice!”
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.