Dignity And Power

© Michael Cole and the Youth Dignity Project.  


What is Dignity?

What is Dignity?

  • Privilege - “Yes, your Majesty”

  • Right - “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided.”

  • Duty - Respect for the dead

  • Behavior - They handled their breakup with dignity

  • Quality - being worthy of respect

What is Dignity?


For our conversation:


Dignity - being worthy of  respect and a place in society

Where is dignity in your life?

Create your Dignity Map

Create your Dignity Map




My Self-dignity









Clubs? 4H? Scouts?









Dignity and Power 1

Complete your Dignity Map by showing where dignity is created and lost in your life.

Friends & Dignity



Me & Self-Dignity





Are you creating more dignity for yourself than judgement?

How to Recreate Your Dignity

  • What do people like about you?

  • What are you proud of?

  • Where do people appreciate what you say and do?

  • What groups or activities do you enjoy?

  • If you could create anything, what would it be?

A friendship is built on the mutual appreciation of something.

How to Recreate Your Dignity

  • If someone is treating you without dignity, AND it bothers you, have you given them too much power over your dignity?

  • Rude people take dignity shortcuts

  • Mean people may feel so little dignity they only have their suffering to share.

How to Recreate Your Dignity

If you see someone treating others without dignity, how could you react?

  • “Are you seeing that person’s dignity?”

  • “Are you feeling your own dignity?"

  • "Do you feel other people are respectful?"

  • "I don't see the dignity in that."

Dignity is a kind of Power.

The Secret of Power:

The Secret of Power:

Power is a shared illusion.


People will give you power

when you take responsibility

for the people and systems

they care about.


The more people trust your word,

the more power they will give you.

The Secret of Power:

Example:  Parental hassling



  • Is taking it personally powerful?

  • What people and systems are at stake?

  • How can you create dignity and power?

  • What is most powerful to create in this relationship?  A messy room or a car?

Dignity and Wealth

  • You will not be able to afford everything that is advertised to you.

  • That does not diminish your Dignity or Power.

The Secret of Wealth:

The Secret of Wealth

See “Part 2: Wealthy Choices”

Live every day in the dignity you create!

Thank You!

Youth Dignity Project


Next Steps

  • We are piloting the curriculum to Portland/Vancouver youth groups.

  • Peer-led conversations are much more powerful.

  • We are looking for Youth Leadership groups interested in presenting the content to their peers.

  • We are creating a national program.

Live every day in the dignity you create!

Thank You!

YDP: Adult Presentation

By michaelcole

YDP: Adult Presentation

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