Every time I get up to cross examine an adverse witness, I remind myself of his dignity. Every human being has it, simply by virtue of being alive. As I approach this witness, I can attack his evidence, her story, his credibility, or her bias, but I cannot take her dignity. I will not try.  In trying to take another’s dignity, you also risk your own. 

In times of conflict, it is tempting to go for the jugular. While the courtroom feels like the gladiators arena, we aren’t allowed to take lives. And in your life’s conflicts, you aren’t either. Instead, though, you may be tempted to make the adversary less human. Don’t give in to that temptation. When you work to make someone less human, the loss is yours. 

I promise, you don’t need to go low to win. I’ve had many adverse witnesses thank me for being nice. I still won those cases.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO HONOR DIGNITY. Be aware of your own and don’t let your anger steal it. Be aware of others, and don’t try to take it. You end up empty handed, and a little less for the effort.

5 thoughts on “TRIAL DAY 25-HONOR DIGNITY

  1. You said, “When you work to make someone less human, the loss is yours.” This piece of advice is rare.

    When like-minds get together to gossip about who they dislike, dignity is the last thing on their mind. It only gets worse and more vicious.

    I believe that even in private, gossip has an effect on the “victim.” As Jews, we are taught the gossip is murder. It kills three people – the speaker of gossip, the listener of the gossip, and the person whom gossip is about. This is the case even if what is being said is true! In fact, if it’s not true, lying is a whole different problem.

    As I said in yesterday’s challenge, it’s not just about the person’s dignity, the way things will be in anyone’s world depends on how they see their world. If they choose to see things as blame and vicious, their life will be such.

    I hope I can continue to choose to see kindness and collaboration, not anger or resentment.

  2. Chavah, I completely agree that Heather’s statement is rare but so poignant. You enhanced the wisdom by adding another dimension on how the lack of a human dignity perspective kills three people. I am taking this away and will add it to my teachings (mostlyto my kids). I see the loss of dignity everyday in the workplace, the scary things is, it is not necessarily intentional or mean-hearted. Workers just have a stronger ‘me/I’ mentality and do not understand what they are participating in and the effect they have on another human.

    Happy Sunday,
    Jayne

  3. Weekend catchup time since the youngest was home for a long weekend. So Collaborating on Human Dignity
    The 40 Days for Life Campaign kicked off last week, and our community is participating this year. Having people present for 12 hours every day at the vigil would not be possible without the coordinated effort of many – The leader, the sidewalk advocate, the pastors, the communication team.
    Yet while they are there praying – not protesting, the participants often have profanities directed at them. We remind them they are to remain prayerful and to pray for those who shout at them too – for they also have the dignity given to them by God.

  4. Are meme’s and mocking and such of a “public figure” the same? If so, I’m guilty and I know I am and I HATE what I do because it is not me, it’s the distain I have for him. The page will turn on him as soon as he is out of office or should he win again, God forbid, either case, I’m done, it’s exhausting.
    Also I already am working on another campaign with positive energy only, no negatively toward my candidates opponent.
    It’s just that one isolated “public figure” above that brings the worst out in me.

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