As Kenneth Collier points out in his book, "Our Seven Principles in Story and Verse" "We do not always live up to the rhetoric in our Principles." p.13
Collier writes a bit further, "When we fail to live up to our rhetoric, we do not see the failure as a fault or the result of inherent evil within ourselves, but as an indication of our inherent human limitations." p. 14 In other words, as human beings we are often unskilled, unaware, and we make plenty of mistakes.
Collier goes on to tie the idea of human limitations with the Greek idea of "Telos" which can be described as a purpose in the sense of striving to achieve a goal, to achieve completion, fulfillment, One of the definitions of The Good Life is to recognize that it is a work of art in progress and every day, every hour, every minute we are alert to how we could improve ourselves. One of my favorite management ideas is CQI, Continuous Quality Improvement. In business we are continually looking for ways to improve the product we manufacture or the service we deliver. In our personal lives we are continually alert to how we can develop into our better self and how we can better relate to and serve others.
There are many stumbling blocks and barriers to the realization of the first principle, the promotion and affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The biggest stumbling block is hatred and fear of those whom we perceive as enemies. Jesus told us we have to love our enemies, and Unitarian Universalism in its first principle is encouraging the same idea when it says "every" person, not just some.
Collier asks "Does anyone really believe that inherent worth dignity dwell within every person? If so, how can it be promoted even in terrible people?" p.15
From Dead Man Walking: