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What is the definition of dignity?  

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lostcullen | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted February 3, 2011 at 5:23 PM via web

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What is the definition of dignity?

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 3, 2011 at 5:44 PM (Answer #2)

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Dignity is a person's right to be treated like a human being.  When we talk about human dignity, we mean human rights.  If people are treated with dignity, they usually have the right to make choices for themselves.  Dignity also means people are treated with respect.  When we talk about dignity of the elderly, for example, we mean treating them like adults and not like children.  Dignity involves privacy as well.  People often feel that their dignity is compromised when their privacy is taken away.  Ultimately, dignity is the idea that human beings are different from animals.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:21 PM (Answer #3)

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For me, dignity is something that a person has within him or herself.  People cannot give you dignity (though they can treat you as if you have it).  Instead, dignity can only, ultimately, come from within.

Dignity is when you act as if you matter.  It is when you act as if you respect yourself.  It does not mean that you do whatever you want or that you act in selfish ways.  It means that you act as if you care about yourself and about your character.

So, to me, you have dignity when you act in these ways -- when you try to act in ways that show that you are a person of character.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:23 PM (Answer #4)

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Dignity is a concept that focuses on the worth, nobility, and importance of the individual. You show your understanding of other people's dignity by honoring them (e.g., paying attention to what they like and ask) and by respecting them (e.g., treating them with fairness, justice, compassion). You show your understanding of your own dignity by acting according to your sense of importance, worth, value, and of having a noble nature (e.g., having high aspirations, having admirable conduct, valuing your abilities and ideas, acting so as to further good end results).

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:07 AM (Answer #5)

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Dignity also means that you make the right choices regardless of the difficulty, and your actions then reflect a positive attitude with regard to whatever outcome to which those choices bring you. Dignity means one rises above the flotsam and jetsam of life's turmoils and turn these circumstances into something positive.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2011 at 12:18 AM (Answer #6)

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"Dignity" to me reflects the self-respect you have for yourself. In this case, then, dignity comes from the choices you make for yourself, in terms of how you choose to handle yourself on a daily basis.

We try not to embarrass ourselves, but dignity is more than that. For me it means avoiding gossip: sharing it or listening to it. It means not listening to prejudicial jokes or comments—I will simply walk away. I cannot abide listening to people criticize or make fun of people who are less fortunate, whether it refers to living in poverty, being homeless, being on drugs, having abortions, being overweight, etc. I can only imagine how difficult the lives of others are. In this case, it's in allowing others to have a sense of dignity as well.

And, as Atticus Finch says, until I can spend some time in someone else's skin, how can I judge them? There are exceptions: murderers and pedophiles. I just can't wrap my brain around those kinds of people: I sense the tragedy involved but cannot put myself in those shoes.

For me, this all comes back to dignity...putting my "best foot forward." It means setting examples for youngsters, and letting other adults know what is important to me. I am also religious, so I feel that setting a good example is especially important for that reason.

Finally, dignity means you don't always have to have the last word. Sticks and stones...Honestly, if I feel I am right, I have a hard time just walking away. But dignity includes having enough self-respect and belief in being on the right path, that it shouldn't matter if I have the last word. (Working on that...)

Dignity should not mean being a snob. To me, it's more about the choices I make, and those choices don't have to be the choices of others. I can only be responsible for me.

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prashant86 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted February 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM (Answer #7)

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What is the definition of dignity?

What is the definition of dignity?

Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation
to the worth or value of themselves and others. To treat someone with
dignity is to treat them as being of worth, in a way that is respectful of
them as valued individuals.
In care situations, dignity may be promoted or diminished by: the
physical environment; organisational culture; by the attitudes and
behaviour of the nursing team and others and by the way in which care
activities are carried out.
When dignity is present people feel in control, valued, confident,
comfortable and able to make decisions for themselves. When dignity
is absent people feel devalued, lacking control and comfort. They may
lack confidence and be unable to make decisions for themselves. They
may feel humiliated, embarrassed or ashamed.
Dignity applies equally to those who have capacity and to those who
lack it. Everyone has equal worth as human beings and must be treated
as if they are able to feel, think and behave in relation to their own
worth or value....

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swimma-logan | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted May 26, 2011 at 12:54 AM (Answer #8)

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1. The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. 2. A composed or serious manner or style.
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karenannm | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM (Answer #10)

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Dignity is a concept that focuses on the worth, nobility, and importance of the individual. You show your understanding of other people's dignity by honoring them (e.g., paying attention to what they like and ask) and by respecting them (e.g., treating them with fairness, justice, compassion). You show your understanding of your own dignity by acting according to your sense of importance, worth, value, and of having a noble nature (e.g., having high aspirations, having admirable conduct, valuing your abilities and ideas, acting so as to further good end results).

A few weeks ago I went to see a medium. A medium is a person who can communicate with the other side. Or in other terms talk to the dead. The medium told me that someone whom I loved was with us and that I was the only person in his life that ever gave him any kind of dignity and that he wanted to thank me for that because he never had or felt dignity until me. I cried. He was worthy.

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upparent | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:47 AM (Answer #11)

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“Dignity is like air… When there’s enough of it, you don’t notice it. You don’t think about it. When there’s a lack of air, you suffocate.” Ch.3 It’s All About Dignity

“You have dignity no matter what other people think.” Ch.17 What Dignity Is Not

“When people ask ‘What is your worth?’ or ‘Am I worthy?’ they actually mean ‘What is your dignity?’ and ‘What is my dignity?’” Ch.17 What Dignity Is Not

"As a measure of human value, the concept of dignity helps people find their places in the social hierarchy.” Ch.21 Degree

“On one hand, dignity ranks people on the ladder, which shows inequality. On the other hand, we all have equal, unlimited human dignity where everyone’s the same.” Ch.22 Rank

 For more quotes go to dignity-whats-that-sam.com

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upparent | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:50 AM (Answer #12)

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“Noble people have dignity, and they don’t let other people humiliate them.” Ch.24 Nobility

“Pride and dignity are different. Dignity assumes high moral qualities… A thief can have pride in his skill, but people don’t see any dignity in ripping people off.” Ch.25 Proper Pride

“Dignity is about respect not to just myself but to others around me.” Ch.26 Self-Respect

“Dignity is not self-respect. A thief can respect himself, but he doesn’t respect others, and other people don’t respect him.” Ch.26 Self-Respect

“Self-esteem is someone’s estimation of his or her worth compared to others. Dignity is knowing the truth about one’s own worth.” Ch.27 Self-Esteem

“Dignity is the truth about you and about others. You might not discover the truth right away, if ever, but knowing the basics will help guide you.” Ch.28 The Truth

For more quotes go to dignity-whats-that-sam.com

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upparent | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:51 AM (Answer #13)

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“Even if you think you’ve got low self-esteem, knowing you have dignity will help you feel peaceful and hopeful about yourself.” Ch.28 The Truth

“People may not be honest or have integrity, but every human being has dignity.” Ch.29 Integrity

“Dignity is not just a quality or virtue; dignity is innate in a man’s nature. His internal unlimited potential can be seen in his achievements. Yet even if a person hasn’t achieved anything, he still has human dignity.” Ch.29 Integrity

“Dignity relates to the legacy of people. What people leave when they die is their legacy, and that is their true dignity.” Ch.33 Legacy

For more quotes go to dignity-whats-that-sam.com

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sesh | Student, Grade 12 | Valedictorian

Posted March 30, 2013 at 6:15 AM (Answer #14)

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1. The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect.
2. Inherent nobility and worth: the dignity of honest labor.
3.
1. Poise and self-respect.
2. Stateliness and formality in manner and appearance.
4. The respect and honor associated with an important position.

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hermy27 | TA , College Senior | Salutatorian

Posted August 13, 2014 at 5:19 AM (Answer #18)

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Dignity is, "Bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation."  It can also be considered one's relative standing or rank, worthiness, or elevation of character.

Words with similar meaning include distinction, status, stature, and respectability.

Sources:

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laurto | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted June 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM (Answer #15)

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There are many ways to describe the word dignity. For example, it could mean being worthy of honor or respect, or it could mean being composed or serious manner or style. 

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chrisyhsun | TA , College Freshman | Salutatorian

Posted August 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM (Answer #16)

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Relating the definition to a different word (something that often helps me is to try and find relationships between what I do know and what I don't know), I would define "dignity" as pride without the negative connotation. When we use the word "pride", we think of someone with over-confidence in their position in society to the point where he/she is somewhat snobby. Pride is an upturned nose toward others or an extreme stubbornness against admitting wrong. Dignity carries the same confidence in self-worth but has fewer of the negatives attached to it. Someone with dignity is described as being almost regal in their confidence but not necessarily rude to others or overly adamant in their decisions, unlike someone who is prideful.

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kevin0001 | TA , Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted August 13, 2014 at 3:19 AM (Answer #17)

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Dignity is the sense of pride in oneself. That would mean a person's own pride to themselves. An example would be : " Her dignity keeps her from being rude to elders." So her pride for herself tries to look good in front of people older than her. Dignity can also mean a composed manner or a state of being worthy of respect. An example would be : " The president was a  person of great dignity. " . This would mean that the president was a person who is worthy of other's respect.

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