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Dignitas 008

Dr. Larson
Alysha Lohn
Foundations of Human Dignity
What is Dignity? According to Webster Dictionary, dignity is a way of appearing or
behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control (Webster). The real question is, however, is
why do we as a society amplify the importance of being in control? While there are arguments
that tie in biological and natural factors on why humans need to feel respected, I believe that
dignity comes solely from your own personal mantra. Individuals choose their level of selfrespect, and because this sense of control can be derived from many different factors, each
person has their own view on dignity.
Any sect of religion has countless ideas on what it means to have dignity. For example, in
Christianity, Matthew 7:12 states: So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to
them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. In simplified terms, the previous verse states that you
get out of the world what you give to the world. This mindset causes people within this particular
religion to have a high standard from human dignity. In my opinion, I believe that your religious
affiliation plays a huge role in one’s view of self-control. When someone is connected to a
certain religion, they submit themselves to generalizations made about that particular faith sect.
This allows an individual to mold themselves into the type of person that their faith world
respect, hence creating a sense of dignity.
I also believe that someone’s childhood has a huge impact on how one view’s dignity.
Although you cant blame everything on your parents, it’s easy to see what type of behavior is

expected from certain families. For example, a family that respects each other and has good
communication will often be able to appear more controlled than a family that lacks both respect
and communication. Friends, coworkers, and peers also have a strong pull in how you represent
yourself. There are studies that show that you become like the five people that you spend the
most time with, which means that your groups dignity would be at about the same level. This can
be either extremely beneficial to your self-control, or very harmful. This is why society stresses
to be affiliated with successful people; they will have an impact on both your personal and social
The final foundation of human dignity derives from your own self. In the end, you get to
decide how you want to have others see you, and how you want to represent yourself. I
personally think that there is good in everyone, and that you choose how prominently you
display that goodness to others. I believe that everyone wants to have respect and admiration,
which is why dignity has to come from within. By accepting that you have the power to achieve
self-control, you can change, or maintain how others perceive you. Hopefully, you choose to
remain, or become, respectful, controlled, and self-aware, or in a word, dignified.