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Celebrating Global Dignity Day!

Written by Beth Pochin, 16th October 2013

This week we're bringing the concept of Dignity to the forefront of our reading sessions in order to participate in the 6th Annual Global Dignity Day today, on Wednesday 16th October.  Here at The Reader Organisation, we're delighted to be involved in the celebrations with fellow Ashoka led-organisation, Just for kids Law, who are heading up this years celebrations.

To celebrate here at The Reader Organisation, we've asked each of our facilitators to choose a poem or a piece of prose that explores dignity and makes us think about what exactly dignity might be. In doing this, we hope to spark some truly interesting discussions in our groups about what dignity means to our individual group members. With 350 reading groups taking place, and up to 2,000 participants,  we anticipate a very special week!

Parklands credit Paul Cousans 2

For an example, and to help bring Global Dignity Day to you, we've added this weeks featured poem , I am, by John Clare to this blog post, a poem which brings the concept of dignity to our attention in a moving, memorable way - have a read and see what you think:

I Am

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.

John Clare

We will also be using a Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night  for some of our reading sessions, and have added a short extract to help you think about how dignity might be explored in these few, poignant lines:

"Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night."
Feel free to tweet your ideas to us, or comment on this if this makes you think about dignity in a particular way - we'd love to hear what you think!

Set up by the organisation Global Dignity, whose mission is to implement the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life, Global Dignity Day aims primarily to instil a positive, inclusive and interconnected sense of value in young people by exploring stories about dignity and what dignity means to each individual. Anyone can get involved, regardless of age. We're very excited to get as many readers as possible reading some prose or poetry which touches upon dignity this week to help raise awareness of the need for the presence of dignity life.

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