Dr. Dignity – HOPE House Advice

Dear Dr. Dignity,


What’s up with your name?




Dear Toni,

Here at HOPE House, Dignity is one of our 3 core values, along with Compassion and Encouragement. We acknowledge the inherent Dignity and worth of every human being. But what does that mean? 


When we say Dignity is inherent, we mean that it’s something every human being possesses naturally; no one has to earn their Dignity, they always have it. As Aung San Suu Kyi, Winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, puts it, “True dignity comes with an assurance of one’s abilities to rise to the challenges of the human experience.” 


Here in Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees everyone’s right to be “treated with the same respect, Dignity and consideration (i.e., without discrimination), regardless of personal characteristics.” So in Canada, Dignity is law.


Unfortunately, when an indignity occurs, the response is often silence. People who are shamed, embarrassed or ignored, are often prevented from bringing indignities out into the open in an attempt to avoid further indiginities and retribution. This silence can lead to resentment and decreases feelings of self-worth, self-respect, and Dignity. We need the courage and language to talk about indignities, because talking about them in a supportive environment can lead to validation. And validation is the first step to recovering from Dignity violations. 


When we see Dignity as not just a word, but as a lens through which we make decisions and solve problems, we can create a community that flourishes with trust, respect, self-esteem, equality, fair treatment, autonomy, and reciprocity. A community where everyone’s Dignity is acknowledged promotes social progress and better standards of life for its members.


At HOPE House, our community rises to their challenges when they come here to seek resources to support themselves and their families, whether it’s food, clothing, a haircut, attending an AA meeting or just staying connected by chatting over a cup of coffee. Our community members work hard to provide for themselves and their families and to give back to the HOPE House community. 


Long story short, the name Dr. Dignity was chosen to ensure that Dignity remains at the forefront of our HOPE House identity. We surpass class, because through the lens of Dignity we are all equal. 


Stay awesome, Toni!

Doctor Dignity


Our community members are priceless and they deserve the very best!


Do you have a question for Dr. Dignity? Send it to info@lakesidehopehouse.ca.


Aung San, S.K. (2002). Human development and human dignity. United nations development programme: Human development reports.  http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-and-human-dignity
Government of Canada (2018). The canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Department of justice.  https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/rfcp-cdlp.html
Hicks, D. (2011). Why dignity matters: The important role dignity plays in our lives and relationships. Psychology today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/dignity/201108/why-dignity-matters
Tiwari, A., & Sharma, R.R. (2019). Dignity at the workplace: Evolution of the construct and development of workplace dignity scale. Frontiers in psychology.  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02581/full
United Nations (n.d.) Universal declaration of human rights. United nations: Peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.  https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
Why human dignity is important. (n.d.) The Uni Tutor. Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.theunitutor.com/essay-human-dignity-important/
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