The Importance of Dignity in Life

The Importance of Dignity in Life

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Each one of us has listened to or got to know about the word ‘Dignity’ once in our life. This word weighs heavily and is of great importance. As the concept of humanity is a broad and multifaceted, idea that encompasses the qualities, nature, and characteristics of human beings. We all are aware of this term as it is used much in our workplace, home, and different areas of living. Every individual possesses some worth and respect and each one of them has the expectation of getting respected and recognized by society.

Everything related to humans is considered important and the concept of dignity revolves around the human species. We have renowned human beings who are highly dignified in their respective fields and are well-known in the entire world. It is because the values they get as values and dignity are positively correlated the more positive values the more highly dignified is the individual.

Dignity and Rights in India

India is a country where the rights of every being is considered important and making sure to uphold these rights and providing them with the necessary benefits upholds one dignity. It is also termed as self-respect of an individual. Keeping the privacy of a person in the healthcare system will uphold their dignity as the practitioners and doctors are respecting their privacy. Similarly, the psychologist respects the dignity of their clients. The connection between law and dignity strikes many as socially and morally urgent. It is thus unsurprising that some serious historical connection already exists. As both equally is essential for a dignified life.
The concept of dignity is often described as an elusive concept. Many philosophers have taken it upon themselves to articulate the exact meaning of dignity, and they have proposed several definitions and terms for it. Two notions of dignity seem to emerge, Dignity as respect for humanity and dignity as a respect for autonomy.

Also Read: The Psychology Behind Self-Respect

Dignity as respect for humanity:

Immanuel Kant was the philosopher, who put dignity and respect for people as the central moral theory. Kant describes human dignity as a supreme value that all human possesses in the virtue of humanity. Dignity as respect for humanity includes treating everyone with kindness, compassion, and fairness regarding race, ethnicity, sexual orientation socio-economic, or any other factor. It is just recognising one’s inherent worth and value. For example, A doctor treats homeless kids with the same care he treats his wealthy patients. Another example of this can be a community member standing against harassment or disrespect.

Dignity as a respect for autonomy:

It is the strong notion between humanity and autonomy, that gave rise to the second important aspect of dignity and respect for autonomy. Dignity as the respect for autonomy means that an individual has the right to make their own choices and can control their life. It is about being able to live up one’s life with the value one owns even if someone disagrees or not. An example of dignity as a respect for autonomy can be the right to informed consent of medical care which means patients have all the rights to know what medical options and care they are having and what are the alternatives for this.

In this case, doctors and nurses are required to treat their patients with utmost respect. In a relationship, both partners individually have the right to make their own decisions about their relationship, whether to have a child or to get married.

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Important Aspects of Dignity

1. Respect:

Respect is an important aspect of dignity. Treating everyone with respect is considered an important ethical value. It means acknowledging their humanity, individuality, and unique qualities. It involves listening to their perspectives, listening to others’ opinions, and respecting their rights. As if a person is speaking, listening properly to their views will uphold his or her dignity. Even respect for older people or person with high respect will uphold their dignity and make them feel superior.

2. Equality:

Dignity is closely linked with the respect of equality. All individuals should be treated equally and they should be given choices. As a society sees equality as important minority groups might still have the feeling of discrimination. But equality is the key aspect to making a person feel dignified in society. The right to Equality is an essential right in the constitution of India and thus it weighs heavily on a person and society. Treating everyone equally and making them feel good about their genders can make one life a dignified life.

3. Autonomy:

As discussed earlier autonomy is the belief that everyone should make their own decisions about their own lives and respect their choices, even if the choices differ from others. It can be in the form of religious groups, one can have different beliefs about different religions, and that their opinions should be respected. It can also be in the form of choosing different identities. People’s choices matter in society and thus this makes one a dignified individual of society.

Also Read: How Emotions Play an Important Role in Decision-Making

4. Privacy:

Privacy is another important aspect of dignity. If a person trusts you and tells you something it is important to keep their privacy. And keeping someone’s privacy makes an individual dignified as they tell with trust. For example, leaders in different prominent fields always keep their lives private. They keep their life to themselves only. The invasion in their privacy is considered a component that positively and negatively influences their dignity.

5. Basic Needs:

Basic needs are important for an individual to live and sustain on Mother Earth and having all these basic needs determine one’s dignity having proper food, and shelter makes one a dignified individual, and limitations to these basic needs can undermine one’s dignity. It can also be seen as the baseline of dignity as people do see the basic needs of individuals. It can also be basic human rights.

Thus, dignity is an important aspect of human life. Having it makes one honorable and respectable in society. Making one feel dignified is the main aspect of living a good life. It’s a concept that underlies the idea that all individuals should be treated with decency, fairness, and without discrimination.

Here are some interesting books to read about Dignity:

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