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A COURSE IN DIGNITYEdit

HOPE Corps
volunteer guide
Edit

Kedisa Johnson
Los Angeles Program Manager
(213) 891-2900
kedisa.johnson@operationhope.org

module objectives:Edit

I. Students will define and understand dignity in their own culture as well as in others.
II. Students will learn and understand the dignity principles.
III. Students will use their five senses to understand how dignity relates to them individually
IV. Students will learn and understand the dignity project.


concepts covered:Edit

→ The definition of Dignity
→ Global Dignity- crossing cultural boundaries
→ The Dignity Principles
→ Five Senses of Dignity
→ The ABCs of Dignity


a course in dignityEdit

classroom preparation:


Each classroom should be equipped with the following:
→ White or black board and/or flip charts
→ Markers or chalk

Students should have access to the following for their teaching session:
→ Paper or Dignity Student Worksheet
→ Pen or pencil









“A Course in Dignity” is global
curriculum for teaching youth the
fundamentals of dignity in society, as
well as in their daily lives. Working with
children from all over the world, we
wish to instill and inspire a new, more
positive, inclusive, and interconnected
value proposition for their lives as they
grow into adulthood.



The goal of “A Course in Dignity” is to
provide volunteers, educators,
mentors, and individuals with the tools
necessary to empower youth to
understand the importance of living a
dignified life and how to make it
happen in their life and the life of
others.



IntroductionEdit

• Introduce yourself and let the students know why you are here.
• Then ask each student their name and ask them to share one thing that is important to 5 Minutes
them. Ask them to write down that one thing. (feel free to use the space provided on
the student worksheet) ==

Lesson I Edit

What does dignity mean to you?
The objective of Lesson I is for the students to define and understand
dignity in their own culture as well as in others.
Edit

• Ask the students how they would describe or define dignity and to write down what
their meaning of dignity is. If the students are having difficulty, give them one example
of someone who you believe is living a dignified life and ask them to give you an
adjective that describes how that person feels.

• Next, ask the students if what they have described relates only to one culture. If a
student answers yes, ask them to explain why. If a student answers no, ask the group of 5 Minutes
students if they agree and let them know that you would like to invite them to join you in
exploring global dignity.

• Start by sharing your own culture’s definition of dignity and then ask the students to
select a culture and provide the definition. Ask the students to tell you what they found
as the common thread of dignity in the multicultural definitions (see attached document).

• Finally, share with the students that one common reminder of global dignity is that all
young people laugh the same.



lesson: a course in dignityEdit

Begin by asking students what they think about dignity. This should be a
discussion that you lead.


Draw a brain map on the board to illustrate
how the conversation progresses. Start with a
central bubble in the middle (what is dignity?)
with lines and bubbles leading out from it
including other concepts and ideas we will
cover in the discussion.

Dignity 1
you can ask prompts such as:

  • What is dignity?
  • Describe their meaning of dignity?
  • What are some examples of dignity?
  • Does dignity relate only to one culture?
  • How does dignity affect you in life?


Notes:


..................................................................................

..................................................................................

.................................................................................

................................................................................

.................................................................................


HOPE Corps volunteer tip: There is no right or wrong answer. Try to encourage students to come up with
examples of experiences that they have had with dignity.

Lesson IIEdit

The Dignity Principles
The objective of Lesson II is for the students to learn and
understand the dignity principles.
Edit

• Write down the dignity principles on a board or refer to the student worksheet.

• Share that now that they understand the core definition of dignity in their life and in 5 Minutes
cultures across the world, it is now time to look at putting the concept of dignity into
action using the dignity principles.

..........................................................................................................................................................................................


• Go through each dignity principle and ask if they have any questions and ask
volunteers to give an example of a principle in their own life.


1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.
2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfill one’s potential, which is based 5 Minutes
on having a human level of health care, education, income and security.
3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and to be
met with respect for this right.
4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.
5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.


Lesson IIIEdit

Five Senses of Dignity
The objective of Lesson III is for the students to use their five
senses to understand how dignity relates to them individually.
Edit

• Begin this section by asking the students to find a fixed object in the room and stare at it. Then clasp their hands together. Then take a deep breath through their nose. Then swallow. Then listen. Pause after you say listen for five seconds and let the students sit in silence.

• Now share with the students that all five senses should be used to make dignity a reality in their lives 5 Minutes

and in the lives of others.


• Start with sight and ask the students to take five minutes to draw a picture of a personwho is living a dignified life, and living by the dignity principles. At the end of five minutes, ask the students to envision what they hear in this picture and to write down
the sounds. Then ask them to write down what they would smell. Continue by asking them to write down how this person feels physically at that moment. Then ask them to write down what taste this person would have in their mouth. (utilize the space
provided on the student worksheet.).


..........................................................................................................................................................................................


• Answer any questions that the students may have.

• Ask for a few students to volunteer to share the full description of the five senses picture of dignity. 5 Minutes

• Commend all students for a job well done!

..........................................................................................................................................................................................


• As you conclude this section, ask the students to refer back to the one thing that they 5 Minutes
described as very important to them in the beginning of the lesson.

• Ask them to think about if and how this important thing can help them live a life
based on the dignity principles.


Lesson IVEdit

The ABC’s of Living with Dignity
The objective of Lesson IV is for the students to learn and
understand the Dignity Project.
Edit

• Go through each letter of the alphabet and assign a letter to each student. Continue to go around the room until each letter is assigned. 5 Minutes

• Start with “A” and ask the student to give you an example of dignity beginning with that letter. Continue at a swift pass until you reach the end of the alphabet.

• Give praise and kudos to your students for a job well done.

• Examples:

A Accept differences
B Be kind
C Count your blessings
D Dream
E Express thanks
F Forgive
G Give freely
H Harm no one
I Imagine more
J Jettison Anger
K Keep confidences
L Love truly
M Master something


N Nurture HOPE
O Open your mind
P Pack lightly
Q Quell rumors
R Reciprocate
S Seek wisdom
T Touch hearts
U Understand
V Value truth
W Win graciously
X Xeriscape
Y Yearn for peace
Z Zealously support a worthy cause


ConclusionEdit

• Thank the students for letting you speak with them today.
• Go around the room and ask the students how they are going to start living a dignified 5 Minutes
life. How are they going to apply the knowledge that they learned today?



A Course in DignityEdit

DIGNITY PRINCIPLESEdit

1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.
2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfill one’s potential, which is based
on having a human level of health care, education, income and security.
3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and to be
met with respect for this right.
4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.
5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.


Five Senses of DignityEdit

Dignity 2

A Course in DignityEdit

1. What is one thing that is important to you?


2. How would you describe or define dignity in your own words?


The ABC’s of Living with Dignity


The ABC’s of Living with DignityEdit

A N
B O
C P
D Q
E R
F S
G T
H U
I V
J W
K X
L Y
M Z


Using DIGNITY in other BOOF lessonsEdit

Module 2
BASICS OF BANKING

• Dignity allows you to know you have the right to the best resources of banking and
financial services


Module 3
CHECKING AND SAVINGS
• Dignity provides you with the sense of responsibility and discipline in managing your
personal finances.

• If you have dignity, you won’t spend money you don’t have or cause overdrafts to your
accounts.


Module 4
POWER OF CREDIT
• Dignity means keeping your promise to pay your bills on time, thus maintaining a good
credit rating.

• Dignity allows you to make appropriate choices as to when to use credit.


Module 5'
BASICS OF INVESTMENTS
• Dignity influences the types of investments you participate in.

• Dignity gives you the confidence to do your research and gain knowledge prior to making
the investment.


HOPE Corps volunteer tip: Try to incorporate not only these ideas throughout the modules but also include
your own ideas.



Definitions of DignityEdit

What do we mean by dignity? Dignity is a universal human concern. Its
moral agenda is to attempt a dual evolution of the individual community,
on the one hand, and the social formation, on the other. In terms of the
individual or the collective it assigns equal worth to all, without any
distinction of color, race, caste, gender, ethnicity, ability/disability, or
language. It is intrinsically valuable and is hence non-negotiable. Dignity
must be deployed as a moral concept, in order to measure the degree of
decency of a civilization. The concept of dignity is therefore aimed at
regulating the protocols that may undermine the socio-economic basis of
dignity. Dignity is further linked to the concept of autonomy, defined in
terms of freedom that an individual seeks from multiple structures of
domination. Backed by a framework of rights, dignity creates a sense of
self-respect, which can be reflected in demeanor and body language.
Dignity for all these perceived ‘others’ is central to our endeavor. Selfperception
lie at the very heart of dignity, and they must be combined
with a recovery of truly democratic state. Employment, education, health,
freedom from hunger, guaranteed livelihood, social security and related
economic and social rights are crucial in ensuring a dignified existence to
all human beings. A perspective from the subalterns and the marginal is
also important for ensuing minimum conditions for dignity. Dignity means
freedom to live in peace, health and hope.
Source - © 2006 WORLD DIGNITY FORUM

............................................................................................................................................................................................


“Switzerland is convinced that peace and development can only be
sustained if the international community is founded on freedom,
democracy, and respect for human rights. Human dignity is our most
precious asset. It must be defended at all times and in all places. We will SWISS
champion this conviction at the UN to the full and without concessions.
For as long as men and women are exploited, children are mistreated,
and the death penalty is carried out, Switzerland will do everything within
its power to defend human dignity.”
Statement by H.E. Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland,
New York, 13 September 2002

............................................................................................................................................................................................

“Saygınlık”
Human dignity includes personal qualities such as consideration,
empathy, humaneness, kindness, respectfulness, trust, and it can be
reflected in safeguarding the individual's right of privacy, and in treating TURKISH
others with respect, regardless of background.
Source - Nermin Ersoy, Ph.D. , Insaf Altun, MSN.
Kocaeli University Medical School , Dept Medical Ethics & Medical History, 41900 Derince,
Kocaeli ,TURKEY Email: ersoyneti.ato.org.tr
Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 8 (1998), 72-75.

.............................................................................................................................................................................................

What is dignity? Reverence for life. Whatever we purchase should have
helped to promote national wealth, create local employment and use
local raw material. Free from corruption and exploitation, the process of HINDU
production and distribution itself should have helped self-reliance.
Gandhiji demonstrated that dignity lies not in what one wears but in selfreliance.
Source - Kulandhaisamy, The Hindu, India’s National Newsletter, April 15, 2000

............................................................................................................................................................................................

Pronunciation: 'dig-n&-tE
Etymology: Middle English dignete, from Old French digneté, from Latin
dignitat-, dignitas, from dignus
1 : the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed WESTERN
2 a : high rank, office, or position b : a legal title of nobility or honor
3: archaic : DIGNITARY
4 : formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language
Source - Merriam - Webster dictionary

............................................................................................................................................................................................

According to the Buddhism Society, for Buddhism the innate dignity of
human beings does not stem from our relationship to an all-mighty God or
our endowment with an immortal soul. It stems, rather, from the exalted
place of human life in the broad expanse of sentient existence. Far from
reducing human beings to children of chance, the Buddha teaches that
the human realm is a very special realm standing squarely at the spiritual BUDDHISM
center of the cosmos. What makes human life so special is that human
beings have a capacity for moral choice that is not shared by other types
of beings. Though this capacity is inevitably subject to limiting conditions,
we always possess, in the immediate present, a margin of inner freedom
that allows us to change ourselves and hereby to change the world.
Source - Buddhist Publication Society Newsletter cover essay #38 (1st mailing, 1998)
Copyright © 1998 Buddhist Publication Society

.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Chinese Pinyin: zun1 yan2
The Chinese definition of human is “one with a heart disposed to
Dignity 3

kindness”. CHINESE
Underlying the non-discrimination principles to which China has bound
itself under international human rights law, lies the pre-eminent value of
human dignity. Human rights law, and legislation building on it, recognizes
that it is dignity that persons are denied if their ability to either develop
their competence, or to achieve the social and economic rewards of
work and job promotion, are systematically disadvantaged.
Source - Paper presentation ICAS 20-25 August 2005, Shanghai

.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Human Dignity is an important theme of Islam; it runs throughout all its
teachings. Dignity according to Islam is: Izzah (honor), Karamah (nobility),
Qeemah (value), Shraf (distinction) Fadilah (virtue).
Dignity according to Islam is:
• To know yourself; To know your real worth and value; To know your
position in the creation of Allah; To know your role on this earth; To
know your responsibilities towards yourself; your family; to other
human beings and to the world at large.
• Dignity is in moral excellence; Giving rather than taking; Justice not MUSLIM
injustice; Love, not hate, Faith in Îmân (faith), not in Kufr and
faithlessness.
Islam stands for human dignity and honor and gives a very universal and
comprehensive concept of dignity. It tells us that we must recognize our
own worth and value, we must not lose this worth and value. It is a very
precious gift of Allah. We must guard it. It tells us that we can increase our
worth and value and we can lose it too. It teaches us the ways to
increase our honor. It also tells us that we must promote dignity and honor
among all people in the world.

............................................................................................................................................................................................

Jewish Tradition understands human beings to be b'tzelem Elohim, made
in the divine image. Humiliating a person denigrates the Divine Presence
in the world, so Jewish tradition emphasizes the importance of k'vod
hab'rioyt, honoring each individual and protecting people's dignity.
Judaism has long recognized that dignity depends in part upon sufficient JUDAISM
food, clothing and shelter, as well as honorable work. If someone is living
in dehumanizing conditions, then immediate tzedaka is needed. The way
tzedaka is given should help people to preserve their dignity.
Source - (From A Guide to Jewish Practice: Tzedaka, pp. 16-17, Dr. David A. Teutsch,
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Press, 2005, http://www.rrc.edu.)

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