June 8, 2006
I believe that all people should be treated with dignity.
I believe it is easy to treat people with dignity who are kind. I believe that when people are having their worst day, worst hour, worst moment, they deserve nothing less than total dignity from other people.
What better way to show someone kindness and a better way to act, than when they are struggling to extend dignity to them.
I work in a high school as an assistant principal. I believe the most important thing I see students do is treat each other with dignity. I listen to their stories when they feel someone has, “disrespected them, taken something from them, or hurt their feelings.” I always ask them “tell me what the other person would say about the kind of person you are?” “Or how would the other person describe this situation?” There is always a pause…that pause is important…no matter what the answer, at least for a few seconds, they are thinking about how the other person is feeling.
I believe that is a step towards treating people with dignity.
I believe we get a true sense of what it is to be human when we extend dignity to someone who is insulting us or trying to take something from us. We are capable of forgiveness and beyond that capable of helping someone that is trying to hurt us.
For gosh sakes, life is hard and at times impossible.
I believe no one gets up in the morning wanting to fail. People do not start out in life looking to become unsuccessful. My students want to be better, they want to be successful, and many days they do not know how to do either. They try, they persevere, they are resilient…until moments when they feel they have no where to turn…at this moment they become what they are not…I believe we should treat them how they are to remind them they are not alone in this very difficult journey.
This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.