Global Dignity Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday of the month of October every year. Students are asked to give a short speech about what dignity means to them and highlight it with anecdotes. Afterwards, they are advised to write a letter addressed to themselves which is to be received exactly 365 days later. The contents of the letter must include what they want to achieve for themselves and others by living with dignity.
I am happy to report that I’ve received the letter! Even better still is that I’ve completely forgotten the contents of the missive.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Without further ado, this is what was written on the letter:
“The best way to promote dignity is to be dignified. Leading by example is a sign of dignity. We cannot expect others to do what we ourselves do not believe in. To convince others, you must first convince yourself. Actions speak for themselves.”
Short, but I tried to apply brevity of speech. I don’t believe in going into detail if I can afford to be concise.
On the other side of the page I read:
“I want to be like Albert Camus. He opened my eyes to the absurd. I began putting things in perspective and not judging matters based on mere arbitrary assumptions.”
My speech on dignity was a spin off on the fact that sometimes it’s okay to ask others for help. There are people who genuinely perform acts of altruism without the need for money to change hands.
Once when I was standing in line for the BTS skytrain in Thailand, I witnessed a German man having great difficulty trying to use the automated ticket machine. I realised that he didn’t want to ask for help because everyone else seemed to go through the process of purchasing a ticket with relative ease.
I walked up to him, said,”Maybe it’s broken, it’s rush hour after all, let me check.” then went through the necessary actions slowly so he could observe, and handed him the ticket. I then proceeded to remark,”Everything seems to be in order, this is why they say,’Don’t ever trust a robot to do a man’s job!’ There must have been a glitch.”
The gentleman nodded and was on his way. It was a tacit understanding. No words needed to be spoken.
A link to the GDD website: Global Dignity Day Website
If you want to send an e-mail to yourself meant to be read one year later, try this website: