A little dignity

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Global Dignity Day, Thailand, 2012.
Global Dignity Day, Thailand, 2012.

Here's why you should be using the hashtag #dignity this week

There’s a word I’ve been hearing more and more in everyday conversation.

Dignity.

Dignity is often defined as the innate right to be valued and to receive fair and ethical treatment. In a world often divided along religious, political, ideological or geographic lines, the basic human right to live a life of dignity has the transformational capability to unite us as one society. It’s one basic truth that everyone can agree upon — the universal right to compassion, tolerance and appreciation. Respect for the differences among each of us as individuals has the power to bring us together, which is something good for us as marketers and as people.

Sometimes the most dignified actions play out away from the spotlight, the cameras and the crowds. Sure, dignity can be expressed in big ways, such as in policies and pronouncements. But it can also be expressed in the simplest of ways, like with an unselfish act, a compliment or even a simple thank-you. Small acts of kindness actually go a long way towards inspiring others to do the same — and to feel better about themselves.

Especially among young people.

It’s what Crown Prince Haakon of Norway calls "Global Dignity," and it’s a way to reduce digital and real-world negativity, by living a more dignified life.

Oct. 15 is Global Dignity Day. In honor of that, I encourage everyone to use the hashtag #dignity and tweet out your small acts of dignity. There’s even an app for that: PlayMC2, available on iTunes. And check out www.globaldignity.org.

Here’s a case where less is more. It even puts the chance for dignity, literally, in the palm of your hands.

High five.

John Osborn’s stewardship of BBDO New York, which began in 2004, has seen the agency win 15 ‘Agency of the Year’ plaudits. He also serves as president of the board of directors of the Police Athletic League of New York and chairman of the board of the New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.

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