Dignity is the quality of being worthy, honored, or esteemed. Those we serve, and those we work with, have the right to be treated in a dignified manner. This includes you! Because of God’s life within each person, we are all deserving of respect and concern.

How do we put the value of dignity into practice? It’s as easy as the golden rule, with a twist: we should always treat others not only as we would want to be treated, but as they want and deserve to be treated.

We should always:

  • Respect the privacy of others. Maintain confidentiality. Discuss the details of those we serve only with those who need to know those details.
  • Use professional and respectful language at all times.
  • Listen with attention. Show genuine concern through facial expression, body language, and tone of voice. Remember this applies to interactions with those we serve, families, and each other.
  • Honor the requests and preferences of those we serve to the best of our abilities. Remember our customers often come to us when they are vulnerable and in need. They deserve our respect and care.

Sacred scripture tells us in Luke 14: “Whenever you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you to a meal in return, and that will be your repayment. But whenever you give a banquet, invite people who are poor, who have disabilities, who are limping, and people who are blind; and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

St. Vincent de Paul said: “May our presence and care to those most in need reflect the gentleness, esteem and dignity we see reflected in the life and work of Jesus.”

St. Louise de Marillac teaches: “Continue to serve our dear masters with great gentleness, respect and cordiality, always seeing God in them.”

Let’s all make sure our next interaction reflects the gentleness that is deeply rooted in Vincentian’s legacy and heritage. Let’s strive to always see God in others.