What if our society was built around advancing human dignity and well-being?

Let’s pretend, for even a few minutes, that we could build our society around the advancement of human dignity and well-being.

What would our educational, social, economic, and governance institutions look like? How would we balance opportunity, individual responsibility, societal safety nets, and shared obligations? How would we address health care and public health issues? How would our laws and legal systems operate? How would we define our relationships with the planet and other species that inhabit it? How would we operate our workplaces?

Most importantly, how would each of us choose to conduct our own lives?

For many reasons, I think we’re at a juncture where we need to be steadfast and unapologetic about making human dignity and well-being the defining priorities for our society. The ensuing discussion may take us in many different directions, and we won’t always be in agreement about what approaches to take, but at least we’d get the framing concept right.


Related posts

Dignity instead: The “markets and management” framework for U.S. workplace law should go (2014) — “Within such a “dignitarian” framework, there is plenty of room for market-based competition, entrepreneurship, individual responsibility, and sound management prerogative. Furthermore, the call for dignity in the workplace is not a rallying cry for state ownership, runaway taxation, or regulatory micromanagement of the workplace. Rather, it is about promoting the complementary goals of healthy, productive, and socially responsible workplaces within a mix of robust private, public, and non-profit sectors.”

Visioning law and legal systems through a psychologically healthy lens (2014) — “One of my periodic “battery rechargers” is the opportunity to reconnect in person with a network of law professors, lawyers, judges, and students associated with a school of legal thought called therapeutic jurisprudence (“TJ”), which examines law, legal procedures, and the legal profession from the standpoint of psychological health.”

Dialogues about dignity (2013), Parts I (Meeting in Manhattan), II (Mainstreaming the message), and III (Claiming and using power to do good) — “The founding president of [the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network] is Evelin Lindner, a physician, psychologist, and self-styled global citizen whose life mission is rooted in the displacement of her family during the ravages of the First and Second World Wars. In her remarks to the group, Evelin talked about the need to “embrace the world as our university.” She urged that in the face of powerful political and economic forces that operate to advance the interests of the most privileged, we must “build a new culture of global cohesion, global friendship.”

“Total Worker Health” vs. “Wellness” vs. “Well-Being”: Framing worker health issues (2013) —  “By the end of the conference, further informed by other discussions and panels, I had became a convert. Indeed, I realized that well-being, within the context of workplace health and safety, is a very good fit with broader questions about human dignity and employment law that I’ve been raising for several years.”


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3 responses

  1. If there were 10 good jobs for every worker it would happen. The Black Death elevated the status and economic opportunities of serfs overnight. But where there are more than 10 workers for every job, just how do you get the power and money greedy to treat others with respect, when exploitation is the road to a fast buck. The highest echelon in society do not teach their children respect for others, or self-denial. That is for the lower orders.

  2. I watched the movie “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” with James Stewart, two times recently. The movie epitomizes how “Congressman Smith” had to fight Congress and others to gain his dignity and well-being back. He had to fight for all of the untrue lies told against him. He wanted boys to go to camp each summer to become good men for our future, so he started a bill about this in Congress. He always told the truth and his truth became meticulously contradicted and manipulated by Government and others, who had more power than this one man. Today, this same greed is escalating by employers who bully employees as the only tactic they can get away with to increase their profits. Many human beings who believe in human dignity and well-being, would never think of conducting themselves in this manner. The movie portrayed a simple man, who was bullied by lies to get him out of Congress. He fought and won, but only because of one Congressman, whose conscious could not take it anymore, and he told the truth. It is too bad so many human beings have no conscious and will continue to bully employees out of their jobs. They receive bonuses, enjoyment doing this, and believe they are saving the company money. If more people would choose to conduct their lives with human dignity and well-being, bullying in the workplace would not exist and our society would advance in a healthy manner. Employment could be considered dignified again. We “desperately” need The Healthy WorkPlace Bill passed into Law in every state. We need working America to be honest.

  3. I walked the higher path,
    and they only laughed,
    how can this be? (they asked)
    That this one man is still free?
    Of society’s ill fitting mask,
    required for respect…
    else become suspect.

    Attack, attack, this one must be brought down,
    in fact, to be exact,
    must be made to frown.

    Truth is…

    I still walk that path,
    though hunted by their hounds,
    I look back and sadly wonder,
    How they manage to laugh,
    through their plastic frowns.

    The moon is rising,
    the wind is playing through the trees,
    Come, run with me…
    through the ash of fallen stars,
    we can still be free…
    beyond the smoke of their cigars.

    Set yourself free,
    Show them who you are….
    Come on, run with me,
    It is really, not so far.

    Stormy Jones

    “Truth Is”

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