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The first comprehensive exploration of dignity, its role in human conflict, and its power to improve relationships of all kinds
The desire for dignity is universal and powerful. It is a motivating force behind all human interaction—in families, in communities, in the business world, and in relationships at the international level. When dignity is violated, the response is likely to involve aggression, even violence, hatred, and vengeance. On the other hand, when people treat one another with dignity, they become more connected and are able to create more meaningful relationships. Surprisingly, most people have little understanding of dignity, observes Donna Hicks in this important book. She examines the reasons for this gap and offers a new set of strategies for becoming aware of dignity's vital role in our lives and learning to put dignity into practice in everyday life.
Drawing on her extensive experience in international conflict resolution and on insights from evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience, the author explains what the elements of dignity are, how to recognize dignity violations, how to respond when we are not treated with dignity, how dignity can restore a broken relationship, why leaders must understand the concept of dignity, and more. Hicks shows that by choosing dignity as a way of life, we open the way to greater peace within ourselves and to a safer and more humane world for all.
"In this well-organized, thoughtful book, Hicks presents a fascinating look at dignity—a birthright and the baseline for positive human interaction. . . . With its accessible tone, pithy observations and lessons, and Hicks's argument that the 'quest for dignity is as common in the boardroom as in the bedroom,' this book is a must-read for all."—Publishers Weekly
"Donna Hicks presents an intriguing presentation on the power of dignity in achieving and keeping a certain degree of peace in our lives . . . anyone who understand the importance of personal feelings and their fuel for conflict should consider Dignity as a powerful advisory and motivational guide."—Midwest Book Review
"A beautifully written and profoundly important book. . . . It should be read and studied by any leader who cares about followers and who wants to elicit his or her employees’ highest level of commitment and contribution."—Ed Rehkopf, Club Resources International
"I highly recommend the landmark and definitive book Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict by Donna Hicks, Ph.D., to anyone seeking an alternative and fresh approach to rebuilding relationships through the mutual honoring of human dignity. This book will change forever your views of how people respond to others, and how that response will enhance and improve all conflict resolution situations."—Wayne Hurlbert, Blog Business World
"By helping individuals and groups understand the power of dignity and to learn how to make it a way of life, this book serves as a field guide to the peace we want: peace within us, peace in our relationships, and peace in the safer and more humane world we all wish for."—The Montreal Review
Runner-up in General Non-Fiction, 2011 New England Book Festival
Winner of the 2012 Educator's Award, as given by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. The award recognizes educational research and writings of women authors whose work may influence the direction of thought and action necessary to meet the needs of today's complex society.
Shortlisted for the 2011 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize, as given by Zócalo Public Square
"The book provides a model for conflict resolution whether in the family, in a school, or between countries. Hicks’ book has the potential to influence personal relationships as well as educational practice. The book is timely, as individuals are seeking stable personal relationships, less bullying, a peaceful world and more cooperative school environments. . . . The book’s readability and organization make it a useful resource for educators and administrators."—DKG News, publication of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, announcing Dignity as winner of DKG’s 2012 Educators Award
2013 Book of the Year, Colorado Conflict Center
"Original, soundly grounded in scholarship, and extremely important and timely!"—Evelin Lindner, Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
"This book is a must read for those who want to experience peace in their everyday lives and peace in the world around them. Without an understanding of dignity, there is no hope for such change. If you want to find the weak links in a democracy, look for where people are suffering. You will most likely see a variety of violations. If you want peace, be sure everyone's dignity is intact."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"No single factor is more critical, yet more neglected, in the successful resolution of conflicts than basic human dignity. In this insightful, wise, and practical book, illustrated by powerful examples, Donna Hicks explains why dignity is so important and what we can do about it. Highly recommended!."—William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes and author of The Third Side
"This book offers readers insightful observations, vivid illustrations, and practical strategies for anyone who wants to live a life that upholds and promotes the dignity of all people."—Linda M. Hartling, Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
"With lucid and persuasive scholarship, Donna Hicks discusses a topic relevant for everyone: the desire to be treated well. Dignity is a must-read."—G.A. Bradshaw, The Kerulos Center and author of Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity