Celebrating Global Dignity Day: A Call to Uphold Human Worth

A prize-giving ceremony was arranged to celebrate the day, and the children’s artwork that expressed their ideas about dignity. © Friendship
by Sabrina Nizam
October 30, 2023

In a world often divided by differences, where conflicts and inequalities persist, it is hopeful to see such initiatives that aim to unite and uplift humanity. Global Dignity Day, celebrated annually on the third Wednesday every October, is one such initiative that deserves our attention and support. This day reminds us of the inherent worth and value of every individual, regardless of their background, and offers a powerful message of unity and empathy. It can be as simple as putting a smile on your face while interacting with anyone and everyone.

Global Dignity was founded in 2006 by three remarkable individuals; HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, John Hope Bryant, and Professor Pekka Himanen. Their vision was simple yet profound—to  instil the belief in the dignity of every person, empowering them to be change-makers in their communities. The core principle is that dignity is a fundamental right, not a privilege, and it should be honoured in all interactions and across all boundaries.

Education, ethics, and a good civic sense are integral in inculcating the idea of dignity in young minds. © Friendship

There should not have to be a day for dignity to be exercised or be remembered, so why does the Global Dignity Day exist? The answer lies in the state of our global society. We often find ourselves caught up in the whirlwind of political divergence, socioeconomic disparities, and cultural divisions, especially of late—as a look through any international news publication will readily prove. And so, it’s precisely in such a world that we need a day like Global Dignity Day. It serves as a reminder that our shared humanity goes above these divisions, and our differences should be celebrated, not used as a source of conflict.

Celebrating this day promotes the idea that we must treat each other with respect and compassion, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, orientation, gender identity, financial status or any other characteristic that may set us apart. It encourages dialogue, understanding, and cooperation, which are essential for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate change to poverty and social prejudice.

As with previous years, Friendship school students participated in an art competition that encouraged them to creatively express themselves. © Friendship

Moreover, Global Dignity Day emphasises the importance of education. Empowering individuals with knowledge and skills is a cornerstone of upholding dignity. For this reason, at Friendship we developed a set of Code of Ethics to promote and uphold the principles of dignity and reaches a large group of people, that includes students through schools, community people through our health clinics, hospital ships and community sessions, a larger audience through various national and international events, mass people through media exposure. To mark Global Dignity Day 2023, this year Friendship organised several activities on October 18 at multiple Friendship Schools and government schools in the northern working areas  of the country. The activities included rallies, discussion sessions, debates, art competition etc. to involve people from all ages, professions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Through these events and activities, we could reach the concept of dignity and what that entails to almost 10,000 people in remote areas of the country.

In conclusion, Global Dignity Day is a day of hope and harmony. It reminds us of our shared humanity and the potential we all have to make a positive impact in the world. This day reminds us of our role as global citizens. The challenges we face today are interconnected and global in nature. To address them, we must recognise the dignity of individuals everywhere, regardless of their nationality. Global Dignity Day encourages us to take responsibility for our actions and to work collaboratively for a better world. By celebrating this day and promoting dignity, we can foster a more compassionate and inclusive society. Let us all come together to uphold the dignity of all individuals and strive for a world where respect, empathy, and understanding prevail.

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