Stories of Dignity and Humiliation


List of stories (chronologically)

Dear HumanDHS Friends!
Please send us stories or cases or witness accounts of dignity and humiliation!
And please honor the witness accounts that you see on this page by reading them with the deepest respect and all of your loving humanity and compassion!
If you wish to carry out interviews, we very much recommend the do-it-yourself guide that you see on the StoryCorps site.

Heuer, Stephanie (2014)
The Story of the Stone

David Balosa shared the fable of The Rat and Toad (Morale: Humiliation creates crisis) at the 2013 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York City, December 5-6, 2013.

Lawsuit against LDS Church: Baptism of the Dead & Anti-masturbation Propaganda by François Morin, Montréal, Canada, 2013.

The Journey of Recovering from Gender-Based Violence: The Ecstasy of Triumph and the Agony of Defeat
by Anonymous, January 4, 2011 - Norway. See also

Annette Engler kindly wrote on December 18, 2010:
Please find a short text of my own feelings of shame and humiliation as a result of having grown up with a war-traumatized father. When the Bough Breaks refers to the American Nursery rhythm - Hush a by baby... Hush-a-by baby
On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
Down tumbles baby,
Cradle and all.

Francisco Gomes de Matos kindly wrote on 8th December 2009:
What would happen if members of the HUMAN DIGNITY AND HUMILIATION STUDY FAMILY described as briefly as possible (one to two paragraphs)what they would consider as their MOST DIGNIFYING EXPERIENCE THEY HAVE HAD OR SHARED. Details would be given but actual names of persons involved would not be used, etc.
Who would benefit from a collection of such accounts? Why?
In the History of Humankind it is INDIGNITY that gets recorded, told, documented, but how about the bright side, DIGNITY? The time is ripe to launch a movement for collecting such information, sharing it, and using
it for several purposes: educationally, psychologically, communicatively, socially, politically, etc.

Psychology Behind Ragging
by Harsh Agarwal, paper presented at the seminar “Legal Awareness Programme on Anti-Ragging” in the session “Understanding Psychology Behind Ragging” chaired by the acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, organised by the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), in the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) Auditorium, New Delhi, India, 20th March 2010

From Our Lips to Your Ears: How Interpreters Are Changing the World (2008)
This is a book that will consist of stories from interpreters.

Success Stories of Palestinian-Jewish and Interfaith Relationship Building
Continuously updated by Libby & Len Traubman. See also

Evelin’s Story Told in a Letter to All After a Journey to Silesia in 2007
Evelin Lindner, 26th September 2007.

Corrie ten Boom and Forgiveness (2007)
by Inge Danaher, Melbourne, Australia, July 2007

Barbara’s “Stupidity,” “Laziness” and “Craziness”: Why People Fail At School (2007)
by John H. McFadden (Rev.) MFT

Dispatches from America: Words in a Time of War (2007)
Henry Kissinger, on Why He Had Supported the Iraq War (2007)
by Mark Danner, a Professor at UC Berkeley and at Bard College who gave his commencement speech entitled "Words in a Time of War: Taking on the President's Rhetoric" to graduates of the Department of Rhetoric at Zellerbach Hall, University of California, Berkeley, on May 10, 2007. 

Child of the Nightingale(2006)
by Shanti Kumar, a tale of overcoming humiliation from India

Humiliation in Teenage Life - from All Angles: He Could Have Been Here Today! (2006)
by Njoki Rodiviko, Kenya

Hiroshima and What We Can Learn Today: The Story of Koko Kondo (2004)
by Evelin Lindner

The Story of the Crying Composer (2004)
told by Carlos E. Sluzki at the Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, NY, 2004

Peace Is Possible (2001)
Heffermehl, Fredrik S. (Ed.), Geneva: International Peace Bureau (IPB) with the support of UNESCO.

From Lebanon(2000)
by Mary Abu-Saba

From Rwanda (1999)

From Somaliland (1998)
Interview with Edna Adan


Message from Bill Leland (June 9, 2007)

Dear HumanDHS Friends!

It is the action focus in the context of human dignity and mutuality which seems to be coming through clearly and powerfully to me. So, what seems to be appearing to me, probably still somewhat fuzzy, is action groups of 4 or 5 people who:

•  communicate with each other via the Web,
•  commit to manifest in their communications the values of human dignity and mutual empowerment (the Network could coalesce from work already done a set of guidelines),
•  commit to act in their everyday lives in whatever context is most appropriate at any given time (work situations, partner relationships, parent-child relationships, etc.) to increase human dignity, decrease humiliation, increase mutual empowerment (the Network could provided stories/exemplary case studies to give ideas about what, for example, in real terms increasing human dignity looks like),
•  commit to share their experiences with each other,
•  commit to provide support for each other -"listening" (reading in this case) and giving constructive and honest feedback.

These action groups could meet for a set period of time, for example three months. During that time each action group would document one or more stories or case studies which would describe the constructive actions and challenging factors that are involved in walking into and creating the alternative universe.

Each action group could determine which of their stories would be contributed to the Network's central repository of these stories. The repository could be organized according to the type of mutual relationship in point. Overtime, we could expect to see wonderful real life stories which describe how human dignity and mutual empowerment transformed a wide range of relationships - from families to international conflicts and oppressions.

After a group had been together for, say, three months, each of the 4 or 5 people in that group would then form a new group of 4 or 5 people, and so on.

It would probably be beneficial to have some way of presenting to the entire alternative universe movement the sum of all that is happening. This information could be shared in a variety of ways to the broadest and most diverse public.

Bill adds later: Let me give a bit more of a context. It seems to me that the electronic action groups could serve three main purposes: (1) encourage and support all of us to act; (2) generate exemplary stories and case studies; and, (3) be a way of channeling new people who send emails inquiring about the HDHS Network. It is this third purpose that I did not make clear when I first expressed the notion of action groups. As I understand it, responding as we would like to the numerous emails seems to be a substantial challenge. If we had the action group system going, we could give an initial welcoming reply to a new email and also suggest that one of the best ways to get involved, to establish relationships, would be to join an action group. We would strive to get to the point where each action group would have at least one person with experience with the Network. We could also develop other written information about how the action groups work to be shared with people new to the Network.

Bill Leland, Corralitos, CA



donkeysaddle projects
'donkeysaddle projects' combats inhumanity through exposing the humanity of those who have been marginalized and oppressed, through platforms such as writing, film and theatre.

Ubuntu Toolbox: I am because You are because We are
The majority of the conflicts that currently paralyzes organizations, damage relationships and lead to acts of violence that are rooted in our inability to deal with disagreements. The Ubuntu Toolbox helps people and organizations to capitalize on the energy generated by these disagreements. While they are convinced that all people can learn to handle most of their conflicts on their own, they are also convinced that this requires practice. Today's education gives young people and adults inadequate relationships- and conflict transformation skills and the implications of this can be seen around the world.

Nanci Dale Adler
Nanci Adler, a Russianist, has focused her research, writing, and teaching on the Soviet terror, the fate of Gulag returnees, coming to terms with the Communist past, and the institutional aftermath of mass victimization (transitional justice). She had co-edited The Communist Within: Narratives of Loyalty to the Party before, during, and after the Gulag (2009, Transaction Publishers). Adler is a member of the editorial board of the international series Memory and Narrative. She is also on the Board of the Uppsala Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and is a member of the Archive Commission for the Netherlands Council of Culture.

Since 2003, thousands have taken part in the StoryCorps oral history project, describing their lives and history.
StoryCorps is a program of NPR (National Public Radio), which is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 860 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations. Each NPR Member Station serves local listeners with a distinctive combination of national and local programming. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and ten years of archived audio and information.
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