The Day DIGNITY and HUMILIATION Decided to Change the World: A Parable on Planetary Partnership

By Francisco Gomes de Matos, a peace linguist and human rights educator from Recife, Brazil

How sadly true: Life on Earth was characterized mostly by aloofness, disconnection, indifference, selfishness, separation; by caring chieflyfor oneself, for one´s goals, interests, regardless of others.

Dignity had become so important that it was now a top-priority area for inter- and trans-disciplinary studies in major universities all over the world. Humiliation had started to draw some attention so it was being investigated by a community of farsighted, planetary citizens who shared their humanizing views on the Internet. Then one day, Peace brought Dignity and Humiliation together for a chat on the need for mutual understanding. Here´s humanizing injustice — what have you done to understand me in depth, across all cultures, to know why I act the way I do, to fathom the reasons why there are so many forms of debasing, degrading, dehumahizing, denigrating human beings – and so many ways of violating animal rights and of disrespecting political spaces, international relations….I could go on and on…

Dignity – Thanks. Appreciate your candid, provocative reflections. You have made my day by reminding me of my responsibilities. How could we put your concerns, my concerns, our concerns into practice? You´re multidimensional and so am I. In such spirit, why don´t we start by understanding each other in depth? You and me, plus representatives from Humankind, from animals and from the vegetable and mineral systems would get together to discuss the planning and implementation of HumiliAction, a universal movement aimed at a sustained partnership for the good of Life on Earth.Such initiative would make it possible for both humiliated and humiliators to be understood, in a spirit of compassion, as recommended by spiritual traditions from East and West.

Peace (till then only playing its role of attentive moderator-listener) couldn´t help contributing by saying: This reminds me of a dear cousin of ours, Humility, who, by the way, entered written English in 1275, one hundred years after Dignity. Humiliation, you made your written debut in English from 1350…See how close the three of you are, as far as the History of Words is concerned ? Well, what I´d like to stress is that the agents of Humiliation should be thoroughly researched and understood, too. There could be a balanced focus on the perpetrators and the victims of humiliation.I would be happy to serve you both for mediation and meditation purposes…

Humiliation and Dignity-( in unison): Right! Right! Let´s do that.HumiliaCtion will be more than a call to action: it will help to change the world.

Applause from an enthusiasic audience…

What next ? It is up to you, kind readers, to provide feedback on this parable and to help illuminate the relationship between Dignity and Humiliation, for a peaceful, nonviolent, and nonkilling life on Earth.

(received August 14, 2010)

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