Ask Dr G Have you ever though about dignity?
Written by Doctor G

have you ever thought about dignity?


How are you? 

(real question)

I’m on a work trip, and the client In working with this week asked me to give a seminar on dignity. Which, I’m realizing, I’ve never given much thought to before. 

I tend to think of the concept of dignity as… old fashioned or… used to scold people. Like “Have you no dignity, Sir?” (You can hear my terrible fake British accent, right?)

So, channeling my mom, I looked it up in the dictionary:dig·ni·ty/ˈdiɡnədē/noun

the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.

In my religious tradition (I’m Jewish) our scholars teach that everyone is born with dignity. You don’t have to earn respect. You start from a baseline of deserving respect. You don’t have to find dignity, you have dignity because you exist in the world. 

So what, with my one track focus on resilience, does dignity have to do with navigating change? 

I’ve been reading and thinking and writing about this and I keep returning to one truth:

Believing in worthiness, knowing that you deserve honor and respect and so do the people around you, is central to being resilient. 

Resilience is the ability to navigate change with integrity and purpose. 

Knowing that you are a person of dignity, with inherent worth, strengthens you as you move towards that purpose. Dignity allows you to stop asking “Why me?” and switch to “Why not me?” 

You deserve the opportunity to move forward and thrive. And there’s nothing old-fashioned or scolding about it. 

What do you think about dignity? Comment and let me know. 

All my best, 


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