Monday, June 22, 2009

The Word of the Day.....

dig-ni-ty: The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect.

The word of the day is dignity. Not because I have much, but because I think it's overrated. We all want it. We want people to respect us, to think well of us. You know, 'life, liberty and the pursuit of dignity'. For me, it seems, the more I pursue it, the more elusive it is. Like a wet bar of soap, just when I get it in my hands, it slides right out again.
Take church, for example. You do your best to be dignified there. You walk in, you're feeling pretty good. You remembered to shave your legs, that skirt that was too tight fit just right today. Your kids all have on clean, pressed clothes, and you remembered the treats to bribe them to stay quiet. Yes, all is good. Then, in the middle of the meeting, somehow your 3 year-old gets away from you and is suddenly in the aisle. You give him that look, the one that says, "Don't you dare!" And he returns it with his own, the look that says, "Just try and catch me." Then he's off. You have no choice, you have to go after him, so you do. Why are those little legs so fast? It's not like you can run in your heels. He gets to the front pew, looks back, grins, and makes a turn. Now, you have to follow him right in front of the pulpit. You finally catch him before he can run back up the other aisle. You lift him in your arms and march toward the door. No way are you looking up at any of the people sitting there so quietly. All that dignity just flew out the window like dandelion fluff on the wind.
I think we begin losing our hold on dignity when we start having children. Before you were married, you could probably count on one hand the people who had seen you naked. (Unless you went skinnydipping with your girlfriends in high school. Then it would be one hand and a few fingers on the other.) But, you get pregnant, go through labor and suddenly that list gets much longer. You have more than one child and your list could rival Santa's. Not only have all these people seen you in your birthday suit, they've seen you in the most compromising/awkward/embarassing situation you've ever been in. There's not alot of dignity during the pushing phase.
Personally, I think the scripture about becoming like little children would apply nicely here. Kids don't care about being dignified. Embarrassing stuff is funny to them. If an adult farts in a room full of people, oh my, red face and horror. If a child did it, there would be giggles all around, maybe even a 'way to go'. Even gross stuff is met with sympathy, rather than shame. A child falls down, we worry, 'Are you ok?' They do it so much, it's an accepted part of their lives. Maybe we should just fall down more, then it wouldn't be a shock when it happens. A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to the movies. We had picked our seats (love that option), we picked ones on the side, behind a short wall, where there would be no one beside or in front of us. Great idea until I realized I wasn't quite tall enough for the wall to not be in my way. After the movie started, we saw that there were seats a couple rows back, and decided to move. I stood up with my nachos and followed my husband into the aisle. As I started to walk up the stairs, my huge, size 11 foot didn't clear the step and I tripped. I fell flat out on the stairs, tortilla chips flying everywhere. #*%&!%$#! I wanted to crawl in between the seats and would have if it weren't a movie theater-ew! Instead, I sat down, and pretended everyone in the room wasn't snickering. Thank goodness for the cover of darkness.
I guess dignity could be linked to pride. Maybe that's why we can't keep hold on it. It may just be human nature, we are imperfect beings after all. But, there's a possiblity that there's a higher power at work here. Heavenly Father gives us stumbling blocks-sometimes literal ones-to keep us humble. Like the time I was working in D.C., feeling pretty good with my high-paying job at the CIA. Then I walked through the office my skirt tucked into my nylons. Dignity lost.
Perhaps I need to work on humbling myself, so He doesn't have to do it for me.

3 comments:

  1. LOVE IT! I don't believe I have much dignity anymore -- wait, did I ever? I don't know. There was a time that I did try for it...but you're right, that bar of soap slipped right out of my hands--- fast!:)

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  2. Oh how I undertand! And if I'd seen you fall I wouldn't have laughed. My heart would have gone out to you, then I'd quickly look away and pretend I hadn't seen.

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  3. Dignity? What's that? LOL...always love to hear from you!!! I miss you a ton!

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