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Wedesday, May 5, 1999

How many times are we told that we should behave with dignity? How many times have we been told we should be brave? How many times have we been told that something "just isn't done"? Why is dignity so important?

It seems to me that it is used to keep people in line. To keep them from doing things that would embarrass other people, or cause distress to other people or not let other people know that we don't like being made to do something. Dignity of their subjects is always a strong point with rulers. They want us to live (and die) with dignity so they (the rulers) won't feel bad.

I think that going through life kicking and screaming and laughing and crying and protesting and enjoying is much, much more important. It is not only more fun but emotionally better. If we can live out loud then we learn that we won't just die of shame. We learn that everyone won't run away from us. We learn that life goes on even if other people see our emotions.

Now, I am not there yet, but I am trying. I spent most of my life not showing my emotions because I was too afraid to, but now I'm finding that when I do I have a better day. I'll probably never be an extrovert but at least I can show that I'm human.

With all the trouble in the world right now, Kosovo, Columbine, tornados and flood, the last thing we need is to accept it all with dignity. Why should we accept any of this with longsuffering. That is a bunch of garbage. People are hurt and dying and bereft and we need to speak out and not just be calm and dignified.

I don't want to be dignified, I want to cry for the victims. I don't want to be dignified, I want to laugh with all the survivors. But I have trouble doing this because I have been taught to be calm and noble and dignified and repressed.

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Walked - 1 mile

Biked - 8 mile

Rachel Aschmann 1999.
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