In order to find an answer to the question “what is dignity?” I was looking for the most relevant image. One day the image of a diamond came to mind. Imagine hills of stones containing uncut diamonds in a diamond mine. They are diamonds in the rough. Yet, each of them has potential value. It needs to be worked on, chipped, cut and polished before it becomes a precious gem of great brilliance, which will be appreciated for its true value, or price.
Just like every uncut diamond has its genuine highest value, which is real, every person has his genuine highest value. We call it dignity. So, in a way, when it comes to speaking of people as People with a capital letter, we speak of a dignity, as the highest human value.
It is always there – dignity of each individual. It is like a diamond in the rough: it is invisible, but it is there, it has value, it is valuable. If you work on the stone, cut and polish it, you will make it glimmer and shine so that it can be seen and appreciated. But if it is ignored and left among the dirt and grime it seems to lose its value. However, the value is still there, you can’t ignore that fact. The same goes for dignity. When a man is born his dignity is already there, in him, his highest potential human value. While a child grows in a family it is the family’s responsibility to work on the child’s character, sanding and polishing the child’s best qualities so that the child’s dignity would shine through. When he is an adult it will be his responsibility to continue to develop his character so to present to the world his human value.
The ideal highest human value belongs to each human being, it exists, it is real and it proves to show up in extreme cases of human lives. But there is also the real price of each man. Every person, young and old, is concerned with it. “It is the truth about a man,” said Simon Soloveychik. Everyone wants to know this truth. And they want others to know this truth as well. This truth is about dignity of a man. This truth is dignity of man. Like diamond in the rough it has a value and it has a price.
By A.Aubanova 2001