Do you find that there’s less dignity and grace today? There’s no escaping folks who rant on social media, flaunt their success, and rip you apart if you’re not in complete agreement with their views. What happened to folks with class — people who set high standards for themselves, live with honor and integrity, treat others with dignity and respect, and serve as exemplary role models? In other words, people who make a positive difference in the world and are proud to live that way.
Some people are toxic. They’re selfish, rude, intolerant, self-centered, close-minded, judgmental, lazy, envious — and the list goes on. In their world of “anything goes,” they say and do things without any regard for the damage they’re leaving in their wake. The fact is, their behavior is having a massive impact on their personal relationships, reputation, and self-respect. What does this lack of dignity and grace teach our kids?
Let’s get real. I’m not expecting everyone to be a saint, but instead of ranting about changing the world, why don’t we take a moment and look in the mirror.
Virtue isn’t demanding more of others; it’s expecting more of yourself.
Show Some Dignity and Grace
Living with dignity and grace begins and ends with you. Here are 15 guidelines to help keep you on course:
Lead by example. Be conscious of how your behavior affects others. People look up to you. Don’t let them down.
Be accountable for your actions. You have the freedom to choose, but you’re not free from the consequences of those choices.
Watch your words. Actions have consequences; words do, too. As the saying goes, “you can’t unring a bell.”
Develop win-win relationships. Strive for win-win rather than winner-take-all. After all, winning doesn’t have to be at someone’s expense.
Show mutual respect. Treating people with dignity and respect says more about you than trying to prove how important you are.
Be open to feedback. Some people think that if they don’t know their faults, they don’t have any. If you’re blind to your flaws, you can’t address them.
Keep an open mind. Challenge your thinking by embracing differing viewpoints rather than limiting debate to like-minded people.
Listen more…speak less. Try to find the merit in others’ arguments. Communication is a two-way street. It requires more than talking.
Take the shoe-on-the-other-foot test. Next time you evaluate whether something is fair and equitable, ask yourself how you would feel if the tables were turned.
Show some compassion. Give of yourself. But remember, a good intention is like an idea that you keep to yourself. If you don’t do something with it, it’s like it never existed.
Pay your dues. You don’t get what you want; you get what you deserve. If you’re not willing to make the commitment, don’t complain about the outcome.
Be humble. There’s no need to boast about your achievements, because acting with humility and grace says volumes about you.
Be a graceful loser. Being a good loser helps build character, provides valuable lessons, and mentally prepares you for your next challenge.
Remember your roots. As you climb the ladder of success, reach down and pull others along with you. In addition, thank people…and give credit to everyone who helped you along the way.
Do what’s right rather than what’s convenient. Set high standards, remain true to your values, listen to your conscience, and do yourself proud. Remember, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Before Challenging Others, Challenge Yourself
Most people believe that they’ll be viewed positively if they act with dignity and grace. What’s more, it’ll help to make the world a better place. True. But that isn’t the real reason you should act this way. Even though proper behavior significantly impacts how you’re perceived by others, it dramatically affects the way you view yourself. As Pope Francis said, “Human dignity is the same for all human beings: when I trample on the dignity of another, I am trampling on my own.” Show some dignity and grace and make yourself proud.
Check out Frank’s latest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life.
When Was the Last Time You Looked in the Mirror?
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