Dignity Road Report* - May 2020
Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity – The Coronavirus Pandemic as Opportunity in the Midst of Suffering!
Thank you, dear Ella Nygård, for having created this lovely visualisation of Evelin Lindner's concept of #dignism!
You might like to have a look at Evelin Lindner's essay 'From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity – The Coronavirus Pandemic as Opportunity in the Midst of Suffering'. She finalised this paper on 2nd April 2020 in Germany, while taking care of her 94-years old father. It was reprinted in Transcend Media in May 2020 and will be reprinted in InterViews: An Interdisciplinary Journal in Social Sciences in July 2020. Thank you, dear Georg Geckler, for translating the essay into German.
The present coronavirus pandemic appears to be intimately connected to human activities that rob wild animals of their habitat and bring them into overly close contact with humans, a problem of which indigenous peoples have been aware for a long time. Incidentally, we learned a lot about this when we had our Annual Dignity Conference the Brazilian Amazon last August and September. We held our 33rd Annual Dignity Conference in Marabá and Belém in the State of Pará, and it was titled 'Cultivating Good Living Amazon: Nurturing Solidarity with Mother Earth'. When we arrived in the Amazon, the forest had just been set on fire at an unprecedented scale and school children gave us a 'cry-for-help to the world'. You can see the conference through Evelin's eyes at here. This Dignity Letter was sent out after the conference. See also: 'Human impact on the environment may make pandemics more likely, experts warn', by Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, 2nd April 2020.
Abstract of the essay:
Where do we stand, as humankind? We have dug ourselves into a multitude of perilous crises, both despite and because of what we call progress or economic growth. In service of profit, we practice strategies of development that shred our social fabric while simultaneously plundering our planet – fuelling a toxic combination of sociocide and ecocide that leads to intractable cycles of systemic humiliation. The coronavirus pandemic is one manifestation of this dire predicament.
At the same time, there are also immense windows of opportunity waiting for us to use. The pandemic reminds humanity that it can and must change. It reminds us also that we can change quickly. And, it reminds us that we can change for the better.
Unfortunately, however, instead of recognising the depth of the crises at hand and grasping the historic opportunities to exit, it seems that too many may choose to stay short-sighted and myopic. Consequently, humanity risks missing a momentous opportunity that could ultimately save countless generations of life on this planet.
This article offers reflections on the predicament we as humankind face, as well as offering a way forward, a way that transforms debilitating humiliation into life-giving dignity. As the heart-breaking coronavirus pandemic unfolds, the hope is that it works as a wake-up call for us to answer the following question together: How must we, humankind, arrange our affairs on this planet so that dignified life will be possible in the long term? [read more]
Evelin has coined the term dignism (dignity + ism) to describe a world where every new-born finds space and is nurtured to unfold their highest and best, embedded in a social context of loving appreciation and connection, where the carrying capacity of the planet guides the ways in which everybody’s basic needs are met. It is a world, where we unite in respecting human dignity and celebrating diversity, where we prevent unity from degrading into oppressive uniformity and keep diversity from sliding into hostile division.
In deep gratitude to the entire global dignity family!