“What does it look like to treat others in a way that contributes to their health and well-being? It looks like honoring their dignity”.
These words are taken from a book entitled Dignity by Donna Hicks, Ph.D. Many of our Sisters have read this book as part of their committee work or study groups. Dr. Hicks defines dignity as “an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things.”
Those are some good words to reflect upon but now I can put a face to the truth that they speak.
Down here at the Peace Center we are often able to take our folks on field trips; we believe that this is good use of the generous grants that we have received from organizations such as Catholic Health Initiatives. One such trip was to the World War II museum with our adults. Many of the men had been in the service; all of them had “war” stories; so they enjoyed the outing.
We were able to end the trip by having lunch at the great restaurant there called the American Sector. As we sat at the tables, and menus were distributed, one fellow (I will call Joe) asked if he could order a salad. “Sure,” I replied. “Could I order soup, too?” he asked. “Of course.” “Well, could I order soup and salad?” “Absolutely! Order whatever you would like to eat, even dessert.”
When we returned home and were getting off the bus, Joe and a couple of the other folks came over and thanked us profusely for such a great experience and Joe said, “It was so awesome to be able to order from the menu.”
That is what honoring their dignity looks like. The value and vulnerability of another human being was found in being able to simply choose anything from the menu.