My WYA experience and the concept of Human Dignity

Miko SuperableAs I mark the end of my internship, and months of absorbing the Track A manual, I dare to measure the changes that have happened within me at the expense of this new information. Do I act differently? Am I a relatively smarter person? Am I able to practice this ‘freedom for excellence’? Lo and behold, I realize that there is no definite outcome for this. The truth is, it’s kind of immeasurable.

The Track A training is a module designed by WYA to give it members a deeper understanding of WYA’s core principals as well as to substantiate the claim that each person has intrinsic dignity and worth, through a collection of texts. A couple of months ago, if someone would have told me about this and the concept of ‘human dignity’, I would end up in a hole. ‘Human Dignity’ is a recognizable term that’s thrown around a lot in movie or T.V. show dialogues, but in essence, how does one really explain human dignity? As far as I know from my WYA training, it extends beyond its dictionary definition. And it’s not something one would easily grasp.

The process of Track A sounds simple enough. A process similar to energy transformation when certain energies, applied a particular force, gets transformed into another type of energy like when a rocket takes off for space or the creation of batteries. Track A should end up with a person having some sort of realization or ‘a fresh pair of eyes’. But as we all know, truth resists simplicity. And it can’t be just that.

‘Let’s not go there…’ I would think every time someone speaks about politics.

‘Let’s move on to lighter fare…’ I would say every time someone gives the most cynical comment about our government.

I would argue the concept of human dignity would fall under topics like that. Topics that I feel most youth would consider depressing, intimidating and boring. But what then makes these concepts different from those like love, religion, freedom or happiness? Love is a pretty broad topic in itself. And I find it quite ironic, too, how when talking about happiness or religious truth, people always find themselves in such depressed, “emo” states. As is the topic of freedom – when one’s definition of freedom only seems to become enlightened after all his ‘freedoms’ get taken away from him. The way with which we associate with these big concepts are always somehow taken for granted. How about human dignity? Coming from a person who’s lived a relatively easy and lucky life, how do I define human dignity?

I joined WYA with a goal of broadening my idea about the world I live in. And while WYA has taught me many things, truth does resist simplicity. And I won’t change overnight. But I have realized that my best realization extends far beyond practical manifestations of human dignity. I reached some sort of realization that I can be at peace with at this age.

WYA has taught me that this life is a gift. Along with the people I meet and the experiences life gives me—it all has meaning; And that ability to give meaning to life and to my family is what I realized makes us all unique as human beings. I thank WYA for this genuinely unique opportunity, and for instilling in me a mission of upholding human dignity, that will reflect in all that I do in life. It may take a while for results to come, but I will wait. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.


By Jan Miko Superable, a WYA Asia Pacific Intern Alumnus and Summer Camp Graduate from the Philippines. To learn more about the Asia Pacific internship, click here