The Dignity of Simplicity
By Zig Ziglar, Aug. 6, 2013
Author John Maxwell says, “There is great dignity in simplicity. Most of the immortal works of literature not only have the brilliance of brevity, but also the dignity of simplicity. The Lord’s Prayer consists of only 57 words, none more than two syllables. The Declaration of Independence, which revolutionized the thinking of the new world, can be read by a fourth-grader in less than five minutes. Simplicity is eloquent; it speaks loud and clear without insulting the intelligence of the listener.”
As I read those words I was moved to look up the word “dignity” in my trusty 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary. Here’s what Webster wrote: “True honor. Nobleness or elevation of mind. Consisting in a high sense of propriety, truth and justice, with an abhorrence of mean and sinful actions. It’s elevation; honorable place or rank of elevation; degree of excellence, either in estimation or in the order of nature.”
When a parent or teacher treats a child with dignity, they build the self-esteem of that child and automatically increase the child’s performance, which generally improves the child’s conduct. An employer who treats employees with respect and dignity builds loyalty and increases productivity. You treat another person, regardless of age, with dignity when you courteously listen to them and respond in a thoughtful manner. You treat others with dignity when you show them respect, regardless of their occupation, sex, race, creed or color. And when you treat others with respect and dignity, your own self-respect and sense of dignity improve.
When combined, simplicity and dignity make a powerful combination. When we strive for dignity and use simplicity as a yardstick, we’ve just elevated our possibilities for accomplishment.