Dignity. Power.

Wealth. Success.


© 2018 Youth Dignity Project and Michael Cole 

Questions? michael@youthdignityproject.org




Dignity and Power

What is Dignity?

What does Dignity look like?

What does Dignity feel like?

  • 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 esteem and respect

What is Dignity?

What is Dignity?




Dignity is about relationships.

Who are the people and groups in your life?


Where is dignity in your life?



Create your Dignity Map

Create your Dignity Map

Think of the people/groups in your life, and label the boxes


  • 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, who would appreciate it?


You have dignity no matter what.

I believe in the human dignity of all people.

Recreate Your Dignity

What are 3 things you are proud of or people appreciate about you?

Are you creating more dignity for yourself than judgement?

Recreate Your Dignity


Talk about dignity


  • If someone is treating you without dignity, it’s because they don’t feel their own dignity.

  • Should you give that person the power to decide if you are worthy of respect?

  • Do you believe all people are worthy of dignity?

Recreate Your Dignity

How a person treats others is how they treat their own mind.

You experience them for a short time.

They experience themselves all the time.

Create Dignity in Your Life

Compassion is seeing human suffering when other people see an offensive way of being.



Compassion is seeing intolerance as a kind of suffering.

Create Dignity in Your Life

  • “Where do people treat you with dignity?”

  • “Where do you treat others with dignity?”

  • “Where could you treat people with more dignity?”

In your life, and on your map,

Create Dignity in Your Life

1) Draw arrows to show how much dignity your groups create for you


Create your Dignity Map



Self Dignity




2) Draw arrows to show how much dignity you create for them


Create your Dignity Map



Self Dignity




Friends having drama?

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

  • “Are you feeling your own dignity?"

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


Dignity is a kind of Power.

It's not Dignity if you or they feel ashamed.

Create Dignity For Others

Where could dignity make a difference in someone's life?

On your Dignity Map, re-balance where you'll create dignity.


Recreate Your Dignity Map

The Secret of Power:

What is Power?

The Secret of Power:

Power is a shared illusion.



Power only exists in the agreement that created it.


The Secret of Power:

Power is a shared illusion.


People will create power for you

when you take responsibility

for things they care about.

Power is an agreement about something important.



The Secret of Power:

Power is a shared illusion.


People will create power for you

when you take responsibility

for things they care about.


The more people trust you, the more power they will create for you.







In relationships, we give other people Power over our Privacy, Time, Wealth, Health, and Dignity.

  • Friendships are mutual.

  • Dating that special someone.

  • Keeping promises and secrets.

  • Showing up on time.

I want to know when I'm acting like a jerk.

The Secret of Power:

The Secret of Power:


People must compromise over privacy
time, wealth, health, and power.


We give each other power because we like each other and want to do stuff together.







  • Adults do not have Complete Power over their lives.  
  • Youth have less Power.
  • Being honest about Power will empower your Dignity.
  • It is more powerful to give power than to have it taken from you.

The Secret of Power:

Example:  Family hassling



  • Look at Power - don't take it personally.

  • What people and systems are at stake?

  • How can you create dignity and power?

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

The Secret of Power:




  • Don't take it personally.

  • How can you create dignity and power?

  • What is the most interesting thing to create with this person who may have power to give you an exception?

Dignity and Power 2:

Recreate your Power.


On your Dignity Map, show where you give power over your Dignity.


  • Who's advice do you trust?

  • Who's respect is important and reliable?

  • Where can you recharge your battery?


Dignity and Power 2:

On your Dignity Map,

who has power over your:

  • Privacy, Time

  • Wealth, Health

  • Dignity

Recreate your Dignity Map

Whenever you feel a loss of dignity or power.


Part 2:
Dignity and Wealth

Invite a Youth Dignity Leader for

Thank You!
Live every day in the dignity you create!

Would you like to be a Youth Dignity Leader? michael@YouthDignityProject.org

The Secret of Wealth:

Dignity and Wealth

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

  • You can't have everything you're supposed to have!

  • Don't worry about it!  It doesn't mean anythign about your dignity.

Why Talk About Poverty?

  • Poverty is having to trade dignity for survival.

  • Greed is trading other peoples dignity for money.  

  • Greed is the suffering of poverty - with money.

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