Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Centrality of Self Dignity

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 31, 2018

ppt-jpeg4You can call it self love or self respect or whatever, but humanity is wired by God to love life. And that necessarily includes yourself if you are living. It’s a fairly simplistic equation. Self loathing is the warning light on the dashboard indicating that something is wrong. The Bible instructs us on how to have self respect.

In fact, people love life to the point that they will hang on to whatever is left of it which in some cases isn’t much. I see that every day in my profession. The nurse aide has a unique opportunity to add something to these lives. Our primary function is aiding in ADLs (activities of daily living) and protecting the dignity of the person. By state and federal law, we are advocates for the disabled. “Seek first the kingdom of God and these things will be added to you” is not just a Christian principle, but I also believe it applies to the secular as well. In most, if not all cases, where nursing facilities struggle financially, quality care is a pretense and that’s why they are in the red.

Know this: if you understand the centrality of self dignity and its major objective for your life, you will make many enemies, and will need few friends. Don’t misunderstand, friends are VERY important if they are real friends and the more you have, the better. But also understand this: tyranny is a major force in the world because of sin. The world is dominated by control-lust, and this is the break point; people who have earned respect for themselves are very difficult to control.

If you can’t be controlled, you will get under the skin of many, and will need fewer friends because you like being with yourself. If God and you are your best friends, you do well.

Let’s pause to consider some Scripture. “For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.'” Any questions? Loving life and having good days is obviously a worthy desire, and that must include yourself if you are living. Then we have this: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”

Self loathing, or dissatisfaction with self is part and parcel with lack of confidence, fear, and a subsequent willingness to be enslaved and manipulated. Self disrespect makes you easy to control. When the able-bodied help those who are not, build self value, this is a paramount act of love. Part of self love is seeing the value you have for others, and according to the Bible, all living people have value and something to contribute to others. But also, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

If you are thankful for what you have been given, you will make the most of it to respect yourself and love others. If you know you have much to offer, you will offer it.

So, let’s consider the church story line. Our natural bent is to love ourselves which, according to church orthodoxy, is errant because we are all totally depraved and all of our works are filthy rags before the Lord. Our tendency is to deny our sin and hide in darkness, blah, blah, blah. What’s that all about? Answer: church is simply part of the overall Control Lust Kingdom. Fact is, because humanity is under the condemnation of the law, our tendency is to feel guilty, lack confidence, and seek answers from so-called experts. Social caste systems and cultural expertism are made possible by a humanity that is primarily under condemnation.

The New Birth throws a monkey wrench into all of that big time. That’s why religion denies the New Birth; all impetus for control is eradicated if the New Birth is true. This, and this alone, is why contemporary evangelicals constantly pound the drum of total depravity.

This dynamic is so apparent in my profession that I am compelled to use it as an example. I am continually striving to be a better and better aide to gain self respect, self confidence, and value in the eyes of others; and of course, to please my Father who wants to find His children happy and useful for His purposes.  This makes me a threat to other aides who are full of fear and condemnation. If I raise the care bar, and they lack confidence that they can meet that standard, or don’t want to, they will immediately seek to tear down my self confidence for purposes of control. This will manifest itself in petty criticism, intimidation, and false accusations.

By the way, you can apply this dynamic to just about every sphere of human existence, especially politics and marriage, but let me pause to emphasize the fact that true self respect is earned through legitimate self improvement. This isn’t rocket science; we feel better about ourselves if we lose weight and have more energy to help others and accomplish more, no?  The determiner isn’t a figment of what we want to believe, but the weight scales. Self esteem is earned and based on a truthful evaluation.

Now, on the other side of the coin, let’s talk about the working conditions for aides in most nursing facilities. Often, aides are expected to do the impossible which is ok for a season. Why? Because persevering in the challenge will make you a better aide. And also, you may be stepping up to help a good facility in a temporary bind. But once you have persevered and obtained the benefits of the challenge, and it becomes clear that the bind is not temporary, why do many aides stay in those circumstances which frankly puts their careers at risk on many levels?

They stay because of fear, and lack of confidence. Most aides live paycheck to paycheck and are about two or three paychecks away from being homeless. Facility managers know this, and managing through fear is easier than the hard work of quality leadership. It took me a while to figure this out while watching the total indifference of managers towards very good aides leaving in droves. They want aids they can control and who are willing to compromise. Confident aides who care raise the bar and a subsequent required, increased effort by management.

Let me put some more feet on this. I overheard, in my opinion, an excellent aide complaining to a DON about some issues. After smoothing the aide over, the DON said, “We (management) love you.” Hmmmmm. Do you see the putrid manipulation/intimidation here? You are here because we (management) love you, not because we respect you as a quality aide. Here is another one: “Sally is a really hard worker.” Get it? Sally, bless her heart, isn’t that good of an aide, but at least she works hard. Hence, in both cases, we (management), as benevolent despots and lazy managers who wouldn’t know leadership if you painted it on a board and hit us in the face with it, are only keeping you around because we love you (and deem you an idiot as well because you believe it), and work hard to impress us. Because we pity you and are full of love and compassion, we will keep you around. Gag.

What church discipline letter is not dripping with love for the excommunicated, pathetic little child? In all cases, those who want to rule over you are supposedly the adults that pity you and are overcome with compassion. Again, gag me with a ten-inch spoon.

This is your mission in life before God: to be all God created you to be, but know this; the world is dominated by condemnation and control lust. Therefore, working through the world’s pushback against progressive self dignity will be a daunting task. Nevertheless, this is your only pathway to happiness.


3 Responses

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  1. John said, on January 31, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    Paul, this line says it all: “the world is dominated by condemnation and control lust.”

    Today I heard this gem: “I am nothing without God.” Wow, it sounds so good and…fake! look at that statement a second time and the truth should (sigh) hit one in the eye. Why not say, “I am something to God.” Hell, no, that may mean that you’re not a little, depraved, filthy, no good worm. No, they have to play on how worthless they are, these Calvinist/Reformed/Protestant bunch. This statement is just more proof that they have not yet stumbled across the New Birth. God’s gift is there…all they need to do is accept it. Condemnation comes even in little statements like “I am nothing without God.”

    I was nothing without God; closer to the truth, for sure.

    And yes, in my little profession, I am sailing swimming against the tide too. Why? For showing the truth. People hate the truth. It bursts their “Fakebook”/Twitter/Instagram profiles.


    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2018 at 12:41 PM

      Today I heard this gem: “I am nothing without God.” Wow, it sounds so good and…fake!

      Right. It’s a statement about the value of human life. It’s saying that unless you have God you are worthless. But the dirty little secret is that to Protestants, you don’t have any value as a believer either. Funny, I seem to recall something in the Bible about that notion…now where was it?….Oh yeah!

      “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:6-8


      “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~ John 3:16

      Hmmm, seems to me God would not have gone to all that trouble if he didn’t think that man had value and was worth saving!


      • John said, on January 31, 2018 at 1:25 PM

        Andy, Protestants are the queens and kings of twisting Scripture. They absolutely hate the fact that our lives mean something; how sad is that? Did Jesus not tell his followers to go and be the light and salt of the earth? Or did he say, “You are useless even though you are born again and part of the family of God”? Nope.

        Mankind was worth saving because God loved us. “Loved.” And he loved us so much that He even gave us a choice on whether we’d like to accept or reject His offer. A forced love is no love at all. Tell that to Calvinists and they will break coffee cups on their heads

        So, “Let’s twist the Bible again like we did last Sunday. Let’s twist the verses again like we do every year.
        Do you remember when Christians used to love? But now we make them live in fear.”

        Or something like that. Someone, pass me a knife. And a wrist.


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