It is already June, the second month of #TheDignityProject photo competition!
June brought some great contributions to our Instagram Hashtag page. Thank you for all the photos so far!
Rebecca, beboom97on Instagram, is the lucky winner of her second prize! The photo is full of life and offers a sentiment of freedom that her chosen quote speaks to in a deeper way.
“Actions involve not just bodies, but persons. Human beings have objective value, regardless of subjective value, opinion or taste.
In a short extract from Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, the founder of logotherapy, talks about his captivity in a concentration camp. He writes about the numbing experiences that put the prisoners in danger of losing the awareness of their inviolable value:
“A man’s character became involved to the point that he was caught in a mental turmoil which threatened all the values he held and threw them into doubt. Under the influence of a world which no longer recognized the value of human, life and human only, which had robbed man of his will and made him an object to be exterminated (having planned, however, to make full use of him first to the last ounce of his physical resources) under this influence the personal ego finally suffered a loss of values. If the man in the concentration camp did not struggle against this in a last effort to save his self-respect “he lost the feeling of being an individual, a being with a mind, with inner freedom and personal value. He thought of himself then as only a part of an enormous mass of people; his existence descended to the level of animal life.”
Regardless of nationality, education, religion or life situation, a holistic consideration of the person with his boundless value makes human beings equal in dignity. And nobody, be he ever so powerful, has the ability to take this treasure away.
Gabrielle Waggoner was our second winner of June 2014.
“We learn who we are in relation to other beings,” was the quote to her photo of a father holding the hands of his two girls as they walk along the shore.
It was about two weeks ago when we celebrated an indispensable person in our lives, without whom we would not exist: our fathers.
Oh yes, despite all the embarrassing comments in front of friends and the tacky old-fashioned shirt with the plain baggy blue jeans pants he used to wear, we would still instinctively never give him away.
Think back to when he would stroke your hair and gives you a general insight of the “tuff world of men” and you would simultaneously laugh the tears in your eyes away. Or did you ever experience that specific “Yes” from him when your mum said no?
It is that special confidence, among many other things, that we celebrate. I remember my first swim experiences in the water. I was excited and at the same time exceedingly frightened. My dad put his hands under my belly and illustrated the process for a successful “keeping above water”. Then he went away a few steps and would let me struggle.
As soon as I reached him again he would step back again. While I was struggling like a frog and disappointed at the same time, as I didn’t expect this reaction, I was filled with very angry feelings. I did not understand the point.
But now I understand. I can swim.
And there are many similar situations when I reflect back, where I begin to understand more and more every single “no”. And I am thankful. Although you might not understand his purpose for specific reactions at the same moment, there comes a time when you begin to look from another perspective and you are thankful for the “no’s” you got, because you realize that they are born out of love.
This lovely runner-up picture is also from Gabriella.
“It is love that inspires us to perform actions that are right.”
The little heroine of the photo took it upon herself to keep the mosquitos out! Where there was once a small hole in the screen, now exists a big hole…stuffed with Kleenex. How would our world look like without the innovative creativity of our children?
You have heard about The Dignity Project but haven’t gotten the hang of it yet? Don’t worry, it is very easy, just follow the instructions:
1. Snap a pic!
2. Choose a corresponding quote from the WYANA list (you can place the quote on top of the photo or simply include it as a caption)
3. Upload it in your public Instagram account with the hashtags: #TheDignityProject #MonthSubmitted
*The contest is open to USA and Canada residents only.
By Anna Maria Honeck, an Austrian intern for WYA North America