To me, dignity seems a noble goal. If you carry yourself with dignity, you present yourself with self-assurance and self-respect; you take your cues from within. You move with a sureness and calmness that suggests you are at peace with yourself and your choices (this is starting to sound like a facebook fortune). At least, this is how I see it.
I got to thinking about dignity when I was listening to an interview with economist Charles Kinney on NPR yesterday. He was talking about how access to television has moved women's rights forward in many third-world countries because of empowering stories on soap operas, etc. That may be the case in Brazil and Saudi Arabia, but TV in this country seems to have turned everyone into external validation junkies.
What is it with the "look at me, look at me! I'll do anything if you pay me/if you record me" all the time?!?! Remember when humiliating reality TV was eating a sheep's eyeball on Fear Factor? Now people expose their bodies, their habits, their families, their addictions, their souls in a constant, desperate attempt to get any producer's attention. I'm thinking, of course, of those pitiful parents in Colorado, who hid their six-year-old and told him to lie when they launched their balloon in order to get themselves another reality series (as if Wife Swap wasn't enough fame and adulation).
You would think yoga would be the perfect antidote for this insecurity. And yet even the yoga community seems full of practitioners keen on branding themselves and selling yoga shoes to "help spread the word"--as if the word wasn't spreading just fine on its own without a lot of pictures of hot, young bodies doing arm balances.
Didn't anyone's parents pay enough attention to them when they were kids?
So here's my idea: let's bring dignity back! Let's celebrate quiet satisfaction and inner peace. Let's value thinking and contemplation and shed the childish demands for attention. Cool it with the material desires...get internal!
How's that sound...anyone with me?