Everything, and I mean everything, has a price or a value. Today, as of this writing, a barrel of oil is just under $37; gasoline is worth about $2.09 a gallon; milk is $3.52 a gallon; and the average sale price of a home in Atlanta is just under $290,000.
What are you worth? What price do you place on your family, your friends, or your spouse? I suppose that is not particularly fair, since it is impossible to put a monetary value on a relationship. Still, you can appreciate that everything has a worth.
One of the core values at the organization I serve – Developmental Disabilities of Georgia – is dignity. It means self-respect; pride; and worthiness. Deep down we all want dignity, that is, to be treated with respect, to be valued, to feel as though we have worth in this world. It is also a value to be shared, because everyone needs to be reminded of their sacred inheritance.
Dignity is sharing a smile with another, instead of avoiding eye contact or pretending someone is not there.
Dignity is laughing with someone, instead of laughing at them, or worse, sarcasm.
Dignity is offering words of encouragement, especially when someone is discouraged, instead of quickly pointing out their faults or short-comings.
Dignity is recognizing that everyone wants deep down to be loved, instead of labeling others with words that stereotype or belittle.
Dignity is forgiving someone for their wrongs, instead of keeping scoring and holding grudges.
Dignity is taking time to look, listen, and care when someone needs to be heard, instead of being in a hurry because there is something or someone “more important.”
Dignity is having the courage to say I am sorry, instead of letting pride get in the way.
Dignity is a way of saying, “No matter who you are; where you have come from; or where you are going – you have value to your Maker.”
What are you worth? Everything. And so are those around you. Let us live this day as if we really believe it.
Indebted to you,
Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it. RICK BRAGG, All Over But the Shoutin’