Dignity and Respect has to do with what you are ready, willing, and able to accept within yourself and in accepting to be able to give others. It is your personal power to make a difference by being true to the best within you and letting that truth shine through your words and actions.
“The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.”
As a society, we have come to a point where people too often treat one another as objects and opportunities, rather than as fellow human beings. Respecting one another as individuals, or not doing so, seriously impacts the future, for all of us.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!"
When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites-to be wide awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance-there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.
A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it.
Carlos Castaneda (1931 -)
Source: The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
A warrior-hunter knows that his death is waiting, and the very act he is performing now may well be his last battle on earth. He calls it a battle because it is a struggle. Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A warrior-hunter, on the contrary, assesses every act; and since he has intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously, as if every act were his last battle. Only a fool would fail to notice advantage a warrior-hunter has over his fellow men. A warrior-hunter gives his last battle its due respect. It's only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself. It's pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.