Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Principled Commitment: An Adult Program on Building Strong Relationships

Activity 2: Defining Dignity

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint
  • Markers
  • Easel
  • Low-stick masking tape

Description of Activity

Ask participants to recall the guided meditation from the opening - specifically, the invitation to envision being treated with dignity. Invite volunteers to call out one word that describes how that experience made them feel. Quickly list their responses on newsprint. No discussion is necessary.

After a variety of responses have been offered, post the list on the wall. Invite participants to consider what the word "dignity" means.

Offer the following points in your own words:

One definition of dignity is the quality or state of worth, respect, honor, or esteem. In terms of relationships, dignity may mean respecting the rights of your partner. It may mean valuing differences in behavior and style. It may mean ensuring that neither partner is humiliated within the context of the relationship.

Dignity may also mean respecting and valuing yourself. In a relationship based on mutual dignity, both partners are worthy, honored, respected, and esteemed.

Dignity is something we may not be conscious of until it is absent - when language or behavior violates dignity.

Relationships can be strengthened by consciously embracing and increasing dignity. When partners treat each other with dignity, they both gain a sense of security. They build the confidence, safety, and trust they need to flourish and grow individually and as a couple.