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Dignity QUOTES

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“Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations.” -- Kofi Annan

* "Human rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security and dignity. On this International Human Rights Day, let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations." -- Kofi Annan

“In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new,
more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.”
-- Kofi Annan

* Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC)
* ...democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.
-- Isaac Asimov

It is up to each and every one of us to raise our voice against crimes that deprive countless victims of their liberty, dignity and human rights. We have to work together to realize the equal rights promised to all by the United Nations Charter. And we must collectively give meaning to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude”.
-- Ban Ki-moon

...let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women and children. And let us redouble our efforts to build societies in which slavery truly is a term for the history books.
-- Ban Ki-moon

"Creating a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war. It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria. It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity."
-- Carol Bellamy

The primal principle of democracy
is the worth and dignity of the individual.
-- Edward Bellamy

* There can be no real growth without healthy populations. No sustainable development without tackling disease and malnutrition. No international security without assisting crisis-ridden countries. And no hope for the spread of freedom, democracy and human dignity unless we treat health as a basic human right.
-- Gro Brundtland

* Peace is no mere matter of men fighting or not fighting. Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity - a steadily better life. If peace is to be secure, long-suffering and long-starved, forgotten peoples of the world, the underprivileged and the undernourished, must begin to realize without delay the promise of a new day and a new life.
-- Ralph J. Bunche

From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
-- Cesar Chavez

Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?
-- Cicero

In our hearts and in our laws, we must treat all our people with fairness and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. . . .
~ Bill Clinton

* "All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured . . . We must, therefore, insist on a global consensus, not only on the need to respect human rights worldwide, but also on the definition of these rights . . . for it is the inherent nature of all human beings to yearn for freedom, equality and dignity, and they have an equal right to achieve that."
-- 14th Dalai Lama


The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person’s] life.
-- Justice William O. Douglas

Non-cooperation is an attempt to awaken the masses, to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be done by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force, if they would but know the soul within.”
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

..the United States is subject to the scrutiny of a candid world ... what the United States does, for good or for ill, continues to be watched by the international community, in particular by organizations concerned with the advancement of the rule of law and respect for human dignity. -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

* "Women's rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy." -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.
-- Emma Goldman

* Let us never cease to feel compassion for those in want. Let us never tire of helping victims of injustice and oppression. He who puts his faith in the restoration of human dignity cannot be wrong.
-- Poul Hartling

We must work to ensure the human dignity that comes with a life free from hunger and poverty."
-- Julian R. Hunte, Former President of the UN General Assembly

I pledge to protect the earth
And respect the Web of Life upon it
And to honor the dignity of every member of our global family
One planet, one people, one world in harmony
With peace, justice and freedom for all.
-- John Ince

* "Having visited Oxfam-funded school programs in rural communities has made me realise how vital education is to developing countries in bringing people out of poverty and giving them a sense of dignity, self-worth and confidence."
-- Scarlett Johansson

* "I'm not a statistician, but it doesn't take a genious to work out that 100 million children being denied an education is ridiculous. There is nothing lost in translation here, it's obvious that's wrong.
-- Scarlett Johansson

This is peace with dignity. This is peace with commitment. This is our gift to our peoples and the generations to come…It will be real, as we open our hearts and minds to each other.
-- King Hussein of Jordan

The breakage and agony rending us today will be our salvation if they drive us by new routes to meet it. . . . As of old we must be our own seers, musicians and explorers, and to an extent vaster than ever before. This is the purpose to which we are being summoned to harness our world-body!...Heroic responses in ideals and in conduct are a choice of regal dignity in the presence of a new earth and Heaven.
Helen Keller

* “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 F. Kennedy

* "...if we want to meet the obligations of our civilization and our culture which are to create communities for our children that provide them with the same opportunities for dignity and enrichment as the communities that our parents gave us, we've got to start by protecting that infrastructure; the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the landscapes that enrich us."
~ Robert Kennedy, Jr.

There can be no peace without justice and respect for human rights. I passionately believe in the power of human rights as a set of global values to bring our fractured and divided world together. Around the world human rights activists are giving hope to millions of people - women, indigenous people, the poor and the marginalised - in their struggle for equality and dignity.
-- Irene Khan

* "Democracy is the absolute value that makes for human dignity, as well as the only road to sustained economic development and social justice."
-- Kim Dae-jung

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

* "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.


I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality. -- Martin Luther King, Jr
"What an extraordinary time to be alive. We’re the first people on our planet to have real choice: we can continue killing each other, wiping out other species, spoiling our nest. Yet on every continent a revolution in human dignity is emerging. It is re-knitting community and our ties to the earth. So we do have a choice. We can choose death; or we can choose life."
-- Frances Moore Lappé

Well-fed people can enhance their dignity, their health and their learning capacity. Putting resources into social programs is not expenditure. It is investment.
-- Luiz Lula da Silva

* Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life . . .
-- Nelson Mandela

* The cost in human lives and suffering is so high that we all have to work to end violence and oppression once and for all. We have to proclaim that every human being is equal, in dignity, in freedom —and, as the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, we have to live “in a spirit of brotherhood.”
-- Federico Mayor
* "The basic goal of labor will not change. It is -- as it has always been, and I am sure always will be -- to better the standards of life for all who work for wages and to seek decency and justice and dignity for all Americans."
-- George Meany

You are a human being.  You have rights inherent in that reality.  You have dignity and worth that exists prior to law. 
-- Lyn Beth Neylon

"Refugee problems may often seem intractable but they are not insoluble. In our experience there are two basic prerequisites for solution: the political will of leaders to tackle the causes and to settle for peace, and international determination to push for peace and then to consolidate it. Consolidating peace means helping societies emerging from war to reintegrate refugees in safety and dignity, to rebuild their institutions - including in the field of justice and human rights - and to resume their economic development."
-- Sadako Ogata

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (December 1948) in most solemn form, the dignity of a person is acknowledged to all human beings; and as a consequence there is proclaimed, as a fundamental right, the right of free movement in search for truth and in the attainment of moral good and of justice, and also the right to a dignified life. 
-- Pope John XXIII, 1881-1963 Pacem in Terris, 1963

Let us not accept violence as the way of peace. Let us instead begin by respecting true freedom: the resulting peace will be able to satisfy the world's expectations, for it will be a peace built on justice, a peace founded on the incomparable dignity of the free human being.
-- Pope John Paul II

* Basically we could not have peace, or an atmosphere in which peace could grow, unless we recognized the rights of individual human beings... their importance, their dignity... and agreed that was the basic thing that had to be accepted throughout the world.  -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world ... Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

“When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being,
his very act of protest confers dignity on him.”
-- Bayard Rustin

Our interconnectedness on the planet is the dominating truth of the 21st century. One stark result is that the world's poor live, and especially die, with the awareness that the United States is doing little to mobilise the weapons of mass salvation that could offer them survival, dignity and eventually the escape from poverty. -- Jeffrey Sachs

“When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” -- Bayard Rustin Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
-- George Bernard Shaw

* Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability for the family and peace in the community
-- Juan Somavia

Labour markets are about people. And people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
-- Juan Somavia

I would say that the surest measure of a man's or a woman's maturity is the harmony, style, joy, and dignity he creates in his marriage, and the pleasure and inspiration he provides for his spouse.
-- Dr. Benjamin Spock

"I don’t belong to a church or political party or a group of any kind. I feel that Amnesty International is the most civilized organization in history. Its currency is the written word. Its weapon is the letter; that’s why I am a member. I believe in its non-violence; I believe in its effectiveness. Its dignity and its sense of commitment. Its focus on individuals and the concentration and tenacity with which they defend those imprisoned for their ideas has earned it the cautious respect of repressive governments throughout the world."
-- Sting

* The essence of spirituality is the duty to live to its full the glorious destiny of being human. The purpose of religion should be to empower all people in this adventure of living with dignity and fulfillment.
-- Swami Agnivesh


"We must build a new world, a far better world -- one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected."
-- Harry S. Truman

"We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal right of men and women and of nations large and small....And for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors...have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims."
-- Preamble, Charter of the United Nations.

* Today, I wish that the millions of displaced people would be able to return with the necessary conditions of safety and dignity, that people in exile could return to their home-country as the intelligence is needed, that cruelty, political killings, poverty and hunger cease. I wish that our people recover their dignity, truth is revealed and justice exists.
-- Alirio Uribe Muñoz

We respect the dignity and the rights of every man and every nation. The path to a brighter future of the world leads through honest reconciliation of the conflicting interests and not through hatred and bloodshed. To follow that path means to enhance the moral power of the all-embracing idea of human solidarity.
-- Lech Walesa

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly forsee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.
-- George Washington

Let not men then in the pride of power, use the same arguments that tyrannic kings and venal ministers have used, and fallaciously assert that women ought to be subjected because she has always been so.... It is time to effect a revolution in female manners -- time to restore to them their lost dignity.... It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft

I love life and want to hold onto it. But my passion for justice for my tormented people, for their dignity and freedom, must be greater still. For of what value is a life of slavery, of humiliation and contempt for that which you hold most dear: Your identity! I will therefore not give in to the Turkish Inquisition.
-- Leyla Zana


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DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
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