Dignity

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I just managed to sneak out during this massive blizzard in NYC, because I had an important audition back home.

You know what I did last night?

Watched Notting Hill.

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Yes yes, the classic 90’s chick flick with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

I had never seen it. And it turns out, it’s one of my parents’ favorite movies.

My dad was literally quoting parts of it.

There were gut laughs. There were tears. There were cringe groans.

If you haven’t seen it…it’s simply delightful.

Speaking of my dad, it was recently his birthday. And honestly, I feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world to have such a solid man in my life.

But if there was one word that comes to mind when I think of him, it would have to be dignity.

But maybe not for the reasons that you think.

Yes, of course he is a dignified man – strong, with a steady moral compass. But that’s not why he’s earned that connotation.

It’s for the way he treats others: with dignity.

Every person – be it the waiter, a friend, a high powered exec, his family, the exterminator – he sees the worth and value in each and every person, and then treats them with such honor and respect. 

What an incredible gift to give his children: to lead by example, and to show that every person – no matter who they are, where they live, what their profession, race, age, belief system, income bracket — every single person is a child of God and deserves to be treated as such.

I remember one afternoon, we were driving downtown, and we were stopped at a stoplight, and he saw this homeless man on the side of the road. And this man was truly down on his luck. He was incredibly frail and emaciated. And he wasn’t busking or panhandling for money. He was just sitting with a sign that said “God bless you.”

And I could see my dad being visibly moved by the haunting condition of this man. And he got out of the car, ran and handed him a $100 dollar bill.

When he got back in the car, he just looked at me and said, “That was a man in need.”

It’s no secret, that my dad has been an incredibly powerful source of strength in my recovery from anorexia.

From the hours and hours he spent with me going to all different restaurants and buffets around the city, to taking me to all my doctors appointments, to taking walks with me, to researching the best weight gaining drinks money could buy, to being there for me with a strong shoulder to cry on as my world crumbled around me, to simply just believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.

He loved me through the moments when I felt the most undeserving of love.

He showed me the love of The Father.

And even to this day, we’ll be talking on the phone, and often times, we’ll be signing off, and he’ll say, “Let someone love you, Caralyn. You are so deserving of love. Let someone in.”

Gosh, here come the waterworks. (I promised myself I wouldn’t cry!)

That is my father’s gift. It’s no secret that he ran a very successful business. He has been praised for his incredible leadership skills. And people have always tried to pinpoint just what those traits were that made him such a good leader.

And I think I’ve finally figured it out:

He treated everyone with dignity. 

Dignity: being worthy of honor or respect.

In this world of texting, and ghosting, and closing yourself off to the outside world through the privacy of your earbuds, or having your nose buried in your cell phone, it is so refreshing for someone to look you in the eye and acknowledge that you are in fact, a real human being. With feelings. And with a need for human connection and respect.

Seeing my dad tonight, cracking up at Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, and beaming with joy to have me home, and showing my mom so much love and care – I was seeing all the beautiful aspects of who he is. The vibrant colors of who this man is, were shining, and it was a sight so beautiful to behold.

I pray tonight, as I reflect on my father, that the Lord show me how to communicate with others their own dignity. Just like he does.

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187 thoughts on “Dignity

  1. Your dad is right in his sign-off message, though I’m sure you’re not surprised. You pour your heart in your blogs, which are your ministry. Setting others free from what you have been set free from is a vital part of your (or anyone’s) ministry. One of mine is fatherlessness, and my dream is to be the loving Dad and husband that my father was not willing to nor capable of being.

    1. Thanks Steve. Yeah my dad is a pretty incredible dude. It sounds like you are definitely on your way to being just that 🙂 so glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  2. Pastor, file this one away for one of your Father’s Day sermons / messages! What a great way to honor your Dad. When you deliver this message, you might want to have tissues for everyone available. Your Dad walks the talk, not only with your family but with every one he meets! I can’t imagine how many hearts he has touched! Like Dad, like daughter !

    1. aw, thank you Rick. You’re so funny 🙂 And thank you for your kind words. He’s a great man and I am so grateful to be his daughter. Hugs and love xox

  3. Happy Birthday to your dad. You have an incredible man as your father, and he has a totally amazing daughter. Thank you for sharing this post and your great love for people.

    1. thanks JB! I’ll pass along your kind words 🙂 i really do 🙂 thanks for saying that. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you JP 🙂 I know, it is so sad. I had a convo with him about that today. I feel very blessed. Hugs and love xox

  4. That was written great! Dads leaving a Godly heritage awesome. I pray my 7 children will do the same when they grow up. You are a great writter. Hope I can write that good some day!

    1. thank you Ricardo! gosh, what a kind thing to say. and wow, 7 children! how beautiful 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy it!! It really covers all the blogging bases 🙂 😎 let me know what you think! Hugs and love xox

      2. no, you can also purchase it through Blurb. It will be directly downloaded onto any apple, android, kindle or PC. If you have trouble downloading it, I can always email you a PDF as a last resort 🙂

      3. You can download it straight to your computer. You definitely don’t need to be Apple!

  5. awww such a sweet story!
    that’s so funny that you mention notting hill! that is one of my favorite movies! and my mom and i were literally on the phone last night pretty much quoting the entire thing just because one of us mentioned having to do laundry! lol

    1. thank you friend 🙂 hahaha that’s hysterical. yeah such a great film! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Charlene! yeah, i really do have such a special spot in my heart for him 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Debora. I appreciate that. Yeah he’s a really great man 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  6. Oh, this is beautiful, Caralyn! What an amazing father, and amazing daughter to recognize the traits that make him so wonderful! Dignity. I absolutely love your quote, “Your smile is your logo. How you make others feel is your trademark.” Brilliant! Is that a pic of you as a little girl? Take care, Jenny xx

    1. thank you Jenny 🙂 yeah, he is an awesome dad. I definitely am incredibly grateful. And thanks! it is!! hahah i was quite the little pip squeak heheh Hugs and love xox

      1. So cute! And your post made me think of my dad. He’ll be 90 years old this August! I’m thankful every day that he’s as healthy as he is. Hugs and love to you too xx

      2. oh my! that’s amazing! he’s lucky to have such a great daughter!! x

    1. Thank you friend. I know you are. They are very blessed to have a father like you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Mia 🙂 I am definitely very blessed to have such an upstanding man as a dad 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  7. This post gets to the coeur of what our faith is about, what Jesus is about, the dignity of the person male, or female. Treating people well. Not considering ourselves better than, or less than another. It’s responding to the needs when we see them. It’s loving you through the darkest days of anorexia, and the beauty of now, seeing you healthy, understanding this is struggle at moments.

    God bless!

    1. Thanks Teri. Yes! The sanctity of human life, really. That’s so true – he has always been there for me and for that I am so grateful. Hugs and love xox

  8. How blessed you are, my friend, to have such a Christ-like father: loving, encouraging, supportive! What a much better world we’d have if everyone was blessed with an earthly father who treated all others with dignity! Hats off to him! And God bless you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Jan. Yes, I do feel incredibly blessed. Hats off! I love that saying and I haven’t heard it in foreverrrr! big hugs xox

  9. The dignity of our earthly fathers is truly a blessing, one I too have seen. And it all the more points us towards the dignity our Heavenly Father possesses. Plus, just being able to enjoy family time is always one of life’s simple pleasures 🙂

    1. Thank you Luke, that’s so true – it really is such a blessing. amen to that! Hugs and love xox

  10. What a man your father is. He’s given you a priceless gift in his example and you are carrying on his good example. There is so little moral compass in todays world in leadership and family. Cherish what you’ve learned by observation.

    1. Thanks Ian. Yeah he is a gem. Thanks for your kind words. I definitely do cherish the blessings i have in my family. Hugs and love xox

  11. Caralyn you are blessed with an amazing Dad. I hope you know he is blessed with an awesome daughter! Caralyn you help to to fill the world with love. I can feel your love for God’s world in all you do and say. The world is a little better for all you bring to the world reflecting Gods love where ever you. I think you are beautiful, caring and wise woman. Blessings in your ministry. Your friend Roland❤💚💜💙

    1. Thank you Roland. Yes I most certainly am. Gosh, I am so touched by this beautiful affirmation. Thank you friend Hugs and love xox

  12. You’re doing a good job at showing respect and honor to others, you’re writings & responses reflect that. Keep up the good work & God bless you and your family.

  13. I wish there were more people like your dad. I seem to have seen a lot of the other end of the spectrum recently – people who think it is beneath them to talk to someone they believe to be of a lower status.

    1. Gosh what a kind thing to say Roland. Thank you. I know she does! Hugs and love xox

  14. Enjoyed reading your thoughts and sentiments about your father, seems like he is the kind of guy that goes that extra mile. Like in the Bible, if someone bids you walk a mile with them, you walk two miles with them, because you want to make sure he is OK and go with him beyond what is expected because you care about not only about what the immediate need might be, but what his dreams are and future hopes, let him really talk as you really listen. So here is to all great dads who really don’t know how great they are! Kudos.

    1. Thank you friend. Definitely the extra mile type. Great insight! Hugs and love xox

  15. What a beautiful post! You are indeed fortunate to have such a man to learn from. You’re also wise in knowing that. You many people wait until it’s too late to recognize the value of someone.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful example of what we should all strive to be.

  16. Yep, what a gift you have in your dad. And we as parents never know what the kids are picking up as they growing up. Beautiful tribute to a godly man. DM

  17. You already know from both of your fathers how to communicate to others their own dignity! You have the model of your earthly father for the tools and inspiration. The light of your heavenly father shines through you in the things you do.

    You’ve written about several accounts over the years of people you have been drawn to you out of the whole crowd. I remember particularly the old gentlemen at the deli counter who just decided to chat you up. I think I recall you hoping to just be anonymous, but listened patiently at first. The you were drawn in and, inspired, told us about him.

    I recall our meeting, and how kind you were. It could have been a polite, nice-to-finally-meet-you thing, but you were so much more engaged than that, and I felt your spirit. Which I know sounds corny, perhaps, but I did. I had a supernatural experience when my grandmother died, and I remember thinking that my future self would doubt my own memory. I made a pointed effort to remember that moment, that scene. I remember our leave-taking the same way. There was an added something that I made an effort to remember so I wouldn’t doubt it later.

    So…I submit to you that you already have the tools and use them. You – and I – echo St. Paul who laments that he doesn’t do the good he wills, and does that which he wills not. You, I, and all of our readers suffer the same ill.

    I often simply write for myself, as I think you do for yourself. So we aspire to do more, to be our Father’s child better and more often. We appear better in our writings than we judge we do in life, and that may well be true. Our writings guide us as well as our readers. In the meantime, rest assured that you are your father’s daughter!

    1. Oh gosh Jeff, thank you for this beautiful response. So much powerful insight here. Yeah, that was so special getting to meet such a great friend. Funny how the internet can bring people together, huh? Thanks again for your kind words. Continuing to pray for you my friend. Sending big hugs to you and Julie xox

  18. Hey my Sweet Friend. Your Dad did a great job of raising you to be a wonderful young lady, as well as introducing you to your Father in Heaven, by his example.
    And you are continuing his legacy for sure, seeing how you treat every person who comments with dignity, care and love.
    I love your Dad’s closing comment to your phone call: “Let someone love you Caralyn, you are deserving of love. Let someone in.”
    He is so right. And Holy Spirit will lead you, and you will know.

    You deserve the best.
    God Bless you Caralyn,
    Luv, 😀🌹❤️

    1. Gosh thank you George. What a kind response. I am truly touched. And thanks for that final encouragement. I pray that I will know too 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  19. What a wonderful blessing to have such a great dad. I enjoyed reading about the penned attribute of his integrity, seeing the value in everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much Charme. Yes, I am very blessed. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  20. This is a beautiful article. I just started a blog and you liked one of my posts (Drawing Jesus). Thank you so much! I hope I can become as good a writer as you and touch as many people’s lives as you do. It means a lot that someone like you is taking the time to check out my blog. God Bless!

  21. Caralyn, I enjoy reading your posts, but this one is such a great reminder, and a bit convicting. 😉 Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m glad you got to escape the blizzard! How was your audition?

    1. Thank you so much, friend. It went great! I appreciate you asking 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  22. Notting Hill is my favourite too.
    I especially love the sound track.

    Really touched to read about your relationship with your dad.

    I love the graphics in this post.

      1. Hi
        I recently read a rom com novel called From Notting Hill….to Love Actually by Ali McNamara.
        I am sure you and your mum would love it.

  23. Caralyn, since your father would know you better than random strangers on the internet there must be a reason why he keeps saying…

    “Let someone love you, Caralyn. You are so deserving of love. Let someone in.”

    My dad has given me the best advice I can find…it’s my hard headedness is that he has to keep repeating it to me sometimes.

    1. That’s a really great point Earl. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  24. This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy that you have a such a powerful relationship with your dad. I love the relationship that I have with my own dad. He’s easy to talk to, about anything, and will call or text at any time if he’s needed. He applies logic, teaches me to be more practical, and gives selflessly to so many things. He does so much in the life of our church – He’s coordinated blood drives since April 2000, does mission work, stays overnight with the homeless, plays in the handbell choir, and just gives and gives and gives.He’s donated well over 33 gallons of blood since 1974! Most of all, he’s an amazing husband to my mom, and a wonderful dad to me and my husband.

    1. Aw thank you Laura Beth! I’m so glad you also know the love of a wonderful father. Sounds like an amazing guy! Big hugs xox

  25. Truly you are blessed! I have the same thoughts of my dad who died at the young age of 69. I still remember the funeral procession from the church to the cemetery – mid afternoon on a weekday – cars as far as my eyes could see. Especially in light of the onslaught of continuing allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct these days inside and outside the church, my heart always rejoices at positive stories like yours that remind us that goodness, righteousness, fidelity, and integrity are still alive and well.

    1. I really am, thank you Steven. I’m so sorry to hear that about your father. Gosh – my heart just goes out to you. Sounds like he touched a lot of lives. Hugs and love xox

  26. Awesome! Its so funny I attended a leadership class at church yesterday & they taught us that is leadership. Serving, loving others unconditionally. 💖💖💖🙏🙌 Just like Jesus did… Inspiring 💖🙌

  27. Nice blog post, the first time I watched Notting Hill was with my dad, too! I like Hugh Grant’s roommate – he’s funny! May your dad have a great birthday 🙂 God bless xx

    1. Thank you so much friend. Yes, I definitely feel very lucky indeed. Hugs and love xox

  28. Ohio’s a good place. I recommend it.

    This is non-post related, but this week in his podcast, Rich Roll interviewed Dotsie Bausch about anorexia. Thought you’d like to know.

  29. It’s good that you talk of dignity.

    Next, you should talk of grace. I find that we are losing appreciation of true grace. I did a blog post many moons ago, on the four lady newsreaders on our state channel TV news (bad grammar!).

    I remember that sometimes, and I was a kid, I would tune in just to hear them speak. Especially, a lady called Salma Sultana who used to read the news in Hindi. Now, it is a cacophonous riot. The attitude towards grace and dignity has worsened

    1. Thank you Rajiv. Oh grace – it really is life changing. That’s a great suggestion. Hugs and love xox

  30. Notting Hill is one of my favorite movies! It’s just sweet and fun. No politics, no gratuitous sex, and a happily ever after.

    Your dad sounds like a gem. Small wonder you respect him so much.

    1. Thank you so much friend 🙂 yeah he’s a wonderful father 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much 🙂 he really is such a great guy 🙂 and thanks for that! hugs xo

  31. You are so lucky! My father treated me like an enemy (when he died I felt relieved). The post is one of the best and encouriging texts that I have ever read. “That is my father’s gift. It’s no secret that he ran a very successful business. He has been praised for his incredible leadership skills. And people have always tried to pinpoint just what those traits were that made him such a good leader.
    And I think I’ve finally figured it out: He treated everyone with dignity.

    Dignity: being worthy of honor or respect. What an incredible gift to give his children: to lead by example, and to show that every person – no matter who they are, where they live, what their profession, race, age, belief system, income bracket — every single person is a child of God and deserves to be treated as such”.

    1. oh gosh, i’m so sorry to hear that you went thought that. thank you for saying that. I’m sorry that your father didn’t treat you with the love and respect that you so deserve. hugs x

  32. Hey not sure if you can make requests for topics I would love for you to talk about but, just wanted to know your thoughts on a sermon by voddie baucham neberkenezer loses his mind thanks!

  33. This is *so* beautiful and heartwarming and GOOD and joyous. Thank you so, so much for describing the beautiful love of a truly compassionate, caring father for those of us… who have a hard time knowing what that looks like. It really, really means a lot to me to read this and be able to glean a little understanding from you. Thank you. You are so very blessed!

    1. oh gosh thank you so much my friend. Compassionate and caring are definitely the words that i would use to describe him. thanks again. Hugs and love xox

  34. I think you’re doing a pretty good job of speaking dignity on your own, and I imagine your father is immensely proud of what you’ve got going on. Be well.

  35. They say “A true friend is one who sings the song of your heart when your memory fails.”

    A very nice tribute to your father. There needs to be more men like him in the world 🙂 Cheers!

    1. Thanks TR! You’re on a reading roll tonight!! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!!! Hugs and love xox

      1. No problem 🙂 I’ve found that if I’m not able to stay up to date with my Reader then I can at least take the bloggers I want to keep up and go through checking out some of the posts I’ve missed.

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