Our need for self-preservation comes at the expense of human connection – Dignity is a human phenomenon.

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I love history books. I enjoy reading history books. They’ve always been my got to books, that and science fiction. In one you know hasn’t it happened but could, the other it did, and wow what a mess it left.

I read about the wars and conflicts, and was astonished by the constant destruction and rebuilding. All among the same peoples, and over multiple years and sometimes decades. I as best I could believed I understood the conflict, but what about rebuilding and rekindling the relationships of neighbors?

The curiosity took me to read books about the years after the wars. I wanted to read about the human rebuilding. How to reweave the fabric of society, and I found this book by Donna Hicks to be especially illustrating.

“Dignity has these ten essential elements. We have to become aware of its essential elements to understand how to honor the dignity of others. Since our lack of awareness can make us violate others’ dignity, we have to learn how that can happen. We also have to develop our sensitivity to the ways others experience us. With a developed sensitivity to others’ points of view, we can minimize the times when we unknowingly violate their dignity and increase our chances of communicating that we value everyone we meet.”

from “Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict” by Donna Hicks, Desmond Tutu.

1. Acceptance of Identity

2. Inclusion

3. Safety

4. Acknowledgement

5. Recognition

6. Fairness

7. Benefit of the Doubt

8. Understanding

9. Independence

10. Accountability

In the next blog I will go over each one individually, however the language is important because as the quote states.

“The language of dignity had helped him name and think about his inner wounds in a way that did not make him feel ashamed or vulnerable; it legitimized his suffering. As he told the group about times when he felt that his dignity was violated, he did not hold back.”

from “Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict” by Donna Hicks, Desmond Tutu.

Often times as men, one has to keep feelings inside. Finding the right language to express them is the first step in moving forward in conflict resolution.

from “Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict” by Donna Hicks, Desmond Tutu.

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This article first appeared here.

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