During this political and cultural climate of “us vs them” and walls and borders, matched with a social media climate ill-absorbed in “selfie” status, I think what we need is a bit of dignity shared with humanity to stand up to the negative forces that tell us to judge others and place varied value on an individual. There is never, ever a reason a person does not have dignity: inherent and immeasurable worth. Every single life is sacred. YOUR life is sacred. YOU are sacred.
Dignity shows us it should be our love for people that dictates how we interact with others, not our belief in people. And that changes everything. Dignity creates space for each of us to love one another better and it bites back at the critics who challenge hope and peace and equity. There is always dignity to be recognized and shared, even in the darkest of hours. We can always speak dignity into someone. We can always show dignity to others. Always.
Dignity plays out in the work of See Beautiful through the guiding premise that everyone has great worth and that means we all have something incredibly valuable to give to each other. We work to inspire children and adults to honor that value in themselves, that beauty; to see it in others, and to create more beautiful in the world. When our identity is challenged, or judged by another, we feel excluded and lose a sense of independence, community and a belief in a life filled with hope and possibility. Sadly, identity is challenged too often and we see children and adults questioning their dignity all too often. We work to combat this through education and strategic giving. Whether we’re in classrooms working with children or seeking non-profits who we can support, we want people to know See Beautiful is a place where they are seen and loved and we work to increase that feeling and understanding – especially with people whose dignity has been challenged.
Next time you’re too hard on yourself, or even cast a judgement on another, let dignity lead instead. This inherent part of each of us is also a common thread of human nature that transcends differences and reveals a shared identity that’s quite beautiful. The glue that binds all of our relationships, from intimate to casual, is the mutual understanding of the desire to be seen, heard, loved and treated with equity. The world is an uncertain place, but dignity paves the way for us to create so much beautiful every single day.
-Lydia Mays, Founder of See Beautiful