Dignity and Washing Machines


To know me is to know a few things:

  1. I am a recovering BBQ fundamentalist, working on being a BBQ Pluralist.
  2. I like to give Texans a hard time (especially about BBQ).
  3. I think Corndogs, hotdogs, and McRibs are some of God’s most precious gifts to humanity (Before you start: McRibs are not about BBQ. They are about Love and Passion and Jesus). Fish tacos, on the other hand? No.
  4. I  believe design matters, particularly font and typeface choices (Yes, those are different, Silly).
  5. I am convinced socks and sandals are the height of good fashion sense.
  6. I am an introvert advocate.
  7. I have a self-understanding as a unique snowflake who has a special destiny to change the world.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, if I’m honest: It’s really that last one that rules my life. I am special. I am unique. There is no one like me. That said: I think school uniforms are a great idea.

I know it sounds weird, but school uniforms are one of the best things we can do for school age children. They offer a way for (especially) young kids to have a barrier to community removed. At least in this one way, we are all the same. When my oldest went to Kindergarten, he went to a school that required uniforms. It was a school that served a large number of kids from the low end of the socio-economic scale, and I witnessed first hand how everyone wearing the same clothes made a huge difference.

Which is why this article about a washing machine in a St. Louis school caught my eye, and made me very glad. Attendance and academic performance went up when it was discovered that kids weren’t coming to school because they were embarrassed by their dirty clothes. Makes total sense now that you think of it, doesn’t it?

A washing machine is not the end-all-be-all, but I am struck how I consistently hear stories that point out an increase in dignity leads to an increase in contribution and success.