Thursday, January 08, 2009

Search for the Dignity in Everyone

I hunger for meaningful conversation. Not chit chat about the weather, or idle talk about last Sunday's dinner, but meaningful conversation. I want to engage with people on a level where I learn who they are at the core. The surface is all the candy coating. I want to know people in a different way.

I've been thinking for awhile about starting another group to have an opportunity for that. As I was driving to and from Kentucky this time I was listening to podcasts and it occurred to me that I often read or hear something that makes such an impression on me I want to note it. I realized those sorts of things might be a way to facilitate moving a group from the surface to something deeper.

When something really makes an impression on me it's a spiritual moment. These are not to be brushed aside, but to be considered carefully. These are not experiences to be taken lightly. They should be given their due.

One of the phrases that caught my ear this time, that I made a note of, was the idea to, "Search for the dignity in everyone." I find that such a poetic way of imploring us all to respect our fellow humans. Search for the dignity in everyone. Isn't that lovely? I think I will remind myself of that phrase on a regular basis. Search for the dignity in everyone.

I had an opportunity this evening to apply that to a real life situation. When I'm out of the office I transfer the phone to my cell, and if I'm awake when it rings, I answer it - morning, noon or night. Tonight I've had two calls, which is unusual for one evening. After midnight I had a call from a woman who was suffering a mental health crisis. I'm not a therapist and I'm very careful to never give medical advice. This woman was not at her best, understandably so. She was not dignified in language or behavior. But, when we search for the dignity in everyone we can see beyond those things to the person - fellow human - who is hurting. This story has a happy ending. With dignity.
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