Our grade nines were excellent participants in a cross-Canada video-conference with schools from Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton as we shared our dignity stories. Thanks to Terry Godwaldt and Taking It Global for organizing this event, and student leaders Victoria, Ashlynn and Cassedi for taking a leadership role and for an 8 am conference with Finland. Simon Ibell was the conference feature speaker, beginning the conference by detailing the challenges he faced with Growth Hormone Deficiency. He was inspirational as he talked of facing discrimination and ridicule because of his small stature, yet was buoyed up and succeeded in reaching his dreams of an athletic career because of those family and community members who gave him his dignity. The students were challenged to define dignity and write a personal pledge to take a simple action to promote it in their daily lives.
Student Kindly Share Their Thoughts on Dignity and What it Means to Them
"What is Dignity? To me it’s when you give a person who’s down on their luck a reason to live and to know that someone cares about them. Dignity also gives me an impression that if you do something right, their confidence goes up and a global respect increases. Whenever I see a kid getting picked on or when someone feels like nobody cares about them, I Pledge that no matter what I will try and make them feel better." – Trayle
"I pledge to increase people’s dignity by being kind to other people who are less fortunate and respecting them for who they are. I don’t think we should judge people for their looks or by how they are dressed; it is wrong. They are still people and they should be treated equally. In my community I see people who judge people by how they look or how they are dressed. I even catch myself judging some people sometimes. That’s why I want to make a change and treat other people who may look different them me or others and make them feel welcome and still apart of the community." – Shayla
"To increase people’s dignity, I pledge to be supportive, thoughtful, and share my confidence with others. I won’t be judgmental about someone based on the appearance. Instead, I will give everyone a fair judgment about their personalities and who they are. I will support those who need it. For those who are uncertain of themselves, I will gladly cheer them on or give a helping hand if needed or wanted. That is how I will help increase ones dignity."- Student
"I really enjoyed the video conference. There was some moving and unforgettable dignity stories shared. One story that was told informed us about being judged by others because of how you look. Simon, a thirty-three year old man had a disability that made him shorter than others, but he ignored the nasty comments of others. Even when drawings were made of him plunging to his death, he looked forward and didn’t let it hurt him. I thought it was horrible how people treated him because of his disability. I liked the video conference because there was a lot of information that can be taken out of it." – Tasha