Dignity

I’ve always wondered what it meant when someone says – “you got to be dignified”. We ordinarily associate dignity with rank, status and power for the reason that it connotes respect, nobility and elevation in character. But do all of these so called successful people possess dignity ? If you have met accomplished people who thoroughly impressed you with their meekness and quiet self-respect  I’m sure you also met those whose preoccupation in life is to show off or talk about other people’s private lives,  so amused at the misery others are going through. Here’s an excerpt from the book Rules of Life that may offer some snippets of wisdom on what having dignity means.

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RULE 31 – HAVE DIGNITY

I’ve spent years watching successful people, and I don’t just mean successful as in having lots of money or a big shot career. In fact one of the most successful people I ever met lived incredibly frugally and simply and reclusively and yet cracked it in a really big way – happiness, peace and contentment. This was a person you could have swiped an inner smile off even if you have tried.

Almost all successful people have a sense of their own dignity. Now what do I mean by this ? Well, they are all pretty solid in themselves, they have worked out who they are and what they are about. They don’t need to show off, brag about what they have or who they are. They don’t need to draw attention to themselves because they aren’t particularly interested in what we think – they are too busy getting on with things in their own lives. They maintain decorum ( lovely old-fashioned word that) not because they are frightened of making a fool of themselves or falling flat on their face but they simply can’t be bothered by attention seeking stuff.

It is so important – if you want to be a successful Rules Player – to show poise, gravitas, a be a bit separate from the herd, have good manners, be polite and considerate and to be others might like to look up to. You don’t have to be all aloof and stand-offish, serious and grown up. You can let your hair down – just don’t go out of control completely. You can still relax – just don’t fall off the edge. Dignity is about showing self-respect and having quiet self-esteem. It is amazing how others will respect you and hold you in greater esteem when you start the ball rolling.

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I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A government’s role is the preservation of human dignity for it matters not who are governing, their power, riches and intellectual achivements, if the people are wallowing in poverty and hopelessness.
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A Day At The Banff

I was out on a business trip out west last week. I was back in Calgary again to do a project. Perhaps it is a sign that the economy is recovering 😉 I’ve been to the city quite a few times but never had been to nearby Banff National Park, about 130 kms away, a pleasant 1.5 hour trip to the Canadian Rockies.   The reason/s were quite obvious – most of my trips were in the dead of winter and moreover, I prefer to make the trip with the family to the Banff. This time around my trip included a weekend stay and I thought of avoiding boredom and spending the Sunday at the famous Banff being early spring and the snow had already melted. I had already packed my DSLR camera backpack but at the last moment changed my mind because I didn’t want to carry 3 bags on the plane. I had my laptop bag and my carry on luggage and a third bag plus a tripod would be a nuisance. Besides, I was on a darn business trip and I wanted to travel light. So I took my backup camera, my trusty little Panasonic Lumix FX-35 , that if I had the time to trek to Banff, I could take photos and videos. Well , I made it to the Banff and took photos but somehow regret that I didn’t take my DSLR with me. Taking landscape pictures at such a special place without adequate zoom, lens filters, aperture priority and raw file output isn’t quite the real game. I went with a buddy who was with me on the project team to check the place out, eat , have a few beers, drive around and take a few snapshots and drive back to the city. Yep, I had fun taking pictures and not worrying about lenses, filters, tripods and settings this time around. Oh well, there’s always a next time when I could return on one awesome summer with the family , make a side trip to nearby Jasper and on to Kelowna, BC at the Okanagan Valley  and take all the photos I want with my DSLR camera 😉

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THOSE OBNOXIOUS COMEDIANS

Stand up comedians would be the worst liars and hypocritical jerks you can ever imagine. I run out of adjectives to define someone who would concoct tall tales and self-deprecating humor and insult himself, his mother, his wife, even his god to elicit laughter from his audience. Yes, laughter is golden. Such playacting, looking so contrived and phony is the comic’s way of making a living and interestingly, the ones who have the audacity to tread into vulgarity and over exaggeration often score the highest points. Being brash and borderline controversial makes a comedian interesting and appealing. George Carlin was one comedian who would trash his subject with no holds barred. You would cringe when you watch his stand up session dissing obese people like they’re an aberration of society. HBO’s Bill Maher is also one present day comedian who fires disparaging remarks at will to make his case with a politician he disagrees with. With his scathing criticism of the sex scandal cases committed by the church, you’d wonder why up to now the Vatican hasn’t sued him.

Hyphenated Americans – Paul Rodriquez (Mexican) and Margaret Cho (Korean)joke about their respective cultures, sometimes to the point of cynicism but no one cares. I guess it is OK to make deprecating jokes about your own people, your culture but not OK when you make fond of other cultures. Black comedian Chris Rock is who one comedian who can diss black and white people with his jokes but comes out relatively unscathed. Styles makes fights they say. I guess Brock has a certain style that works to his advantage, somehow restraining people from strangling him.

Recently comedian Adam Carolla expressed his intense frustration of not seeing the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight happen, blamed Pacquiao of sabotaging the deal, calling him idiot, illiterate, overly-superstitious like people in his country who pray to “chicken bones”.

Were Pinoys incensed by Carolla’s scathing remarks about Pacquiao ? We’ve seen some intense and fiery name calling on both Pacquiao and Mayweather on boxing websites, forums and blogs and no one made a big deal about it. Except for the defamation lawsuit the Pacquiao camp filed on the Mayweathers and Golden Boy productions, no one talked about suing or censuring anyone . Things got a little dicey when Carolla fired this volley :

“They got this and sex tours, that’s all they have over there. Get your [expletive] together Philippines. Jesus Christ. I mean, again, it’s fine to be proud of your countrymen. But that’s it? That’s all you got?”

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