This is the fourteenth part of the serialization of All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (Berrett-Koehler, 2006). The ideas in this book are further developed in my recent novel The Rowan Tree.
AFTERWORD: ALL RISE FOR DIGNITY
If there is no struggle, there is no progress....This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
The dignity movement is in its infancy. Yet for every example described in this book, there are thousands more. Taken together, they illustrate that the place to stand up for dignity is right where you are. For those who are ready to do this, I conclude with a list of some simple suggestions drawn from the full text of this book.
Break the Taboo on Rank
If you run an organization, make it safe for everyone involved to question the rightful role of rank, the authority vested in specific positions, and the prerogatives associated with the various gradations of rank. Explain to them that you're not doing this to unleash hostility or incite jealousy, but rather to create fairness, and that this may well take multiple "passes" spread over several years' time. Transparency, particularly in the form of open budgeting, is an invaluable tool for reducing rankism, which thrives in dark places. Freedom to speak up or "blow the whistle" without fear of retaliation is essential to dignitarian organizations. Mutual accountability--everyone to everyone else--is their hallmark.
Understand the Roles of Others and Support Equitable Compensation