1. Bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
2. Nobility or elevation of character; worthiness: dignity of sentiments.
3. Elevated rank, station, office, etc.
If there is one word I would like kids to know, it is this one. You see, if you look around at our society today, there is a lack of it.
Yesterday at the grocery store, I saw a nice-looking young woman who couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen with a pink t-shirt on. There was a single word written across the front in large letters: SLUT.
I couldn't believe it. But now that I think about it, maybe I can. If you read my Sadly Seen In Stores posts, you understand. As I grabbed my grocery cart, I couldn't help but wonder what had happened in this girl's life that she would go around proclaiming to the world that very word. Did she really think she was one? Or was it her way of making a statement, trying to be funny? I so badly wanted to say something—anything—to her. Maybe I should have. But I wheeled my way into the store, trying to erase the image from my mind so I could concentrate on my grocery list. I found it difficult to do so.
You see, there was this loss of human dignity—hers—at that moment. And once a society erases that, it can let all sorts of things happen: abortion, euthanasia, bullying, you name it. And it has. Because once you have a loss of human dignity, there is no sacredness, no worthiness for the human person. God gave us this great dignity as human beings, and it is not something to throw away, back in His face. What this poor girl does not know is that she is a child of God, His own creation. We've all heard the saying, "God don't make no junk." This girl obviously thinks she IS junk, and that saddens me.
Dignity: Yes, it's a very Catholic word. As Catholics, we should all try our very best to honor that dignity in the way we act, dress, and speak. That is why it is so important to get this point across to young people, why I make it my business to teach about the meaning of this word to kids in my books Olivia and the Little Way and Olivia's Gift. I do it so kids don't grow up thinking that they have no self-respect or elevation of character: I do it so young ladies don't feel the need or the desire to wear a shirt that says: "I am worth nothing."
Because in God eyes, you are worth everything.