The Attitude Lounge: Dignifying ourselves

The Attitude Lounge by Kodwo Brumpon: Today is not Yesterday
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies

The elephant’s tusks come from its stomach.” – Akan proverb

It takes courage to dignify another human being. It is the honour we bestow on others that intrinsically describes who we are and what we do. ‘Dignify’ – The word sounds uncomfortable in our speech because we have delegated the task to nobody, and yet we expect all humans to be dignified and act in a dignified manner. We live with a lot of assumptions.

Sometimes, we think it is the job of the pious, but many a time we know it is not really theirs because we are all supposed to be virtuous. But because we have discounted our responsibility, and are not holding those we put in charge accountable, we are not too sure who is supposed to do what and what we are supposed to do. 

We keep slipping back and forth between our conscience and our freewill, hoping the two will cohere and push an agenda that spells what and who in black and white. Sadly, it will not happen. What do we suppose we can do when we seek to dignify each other in our daily endeavours? The answer is ‘a lot’. We can change the world for the better, and mould life to be lived meaningfully in happiness and peace.

But we have not done that, and many among us do not want to do that. The reason is because the surprising majority among us, have lost our distinctiveness; we cannot separate ourselves from the generalised stink of the crowd. Thus, we do not even think about dignifying others. As the saying goes, “You cannot give what you do not have”.

Like a fairytale of affiliations, we have become a part of the mob – active and yet passive. We excite each other, but we cannot inspire ourselves to take the necessary action to bring about the change that we all need. We speak and say the right words, but without feeling or consciously thinking about what we are really saying. The best we give ourselves is visibility. We become visible because we are curious about this and that and everything else.

What our curiosity does is conceal the fact that we are really not taking any action whatsoever to address the challenges of dehumanisation which pervade our society. We have forgotten that dignifying our fellow citizens is not about raising competitors, champions and the like, but has more to do with shaping out our own legacies and lives.

Whether we subscribe to it or not, we have a duty to allow others to be as they are; or to think themselves to be whatever they want to be. The essential task is for us to curate enabling relationships which bring out the best in others, so that our presence our words will grant them the countenance of their own sufficiency and confidence. We are to consciously ensure that virtue takes root in our hearts, so that our words and actions liberate others.

Sadly, the opposite is what pertains. We are hard on people who are in our power. We hand them the most unhandsome edges of ourselves, exploiting them to the point where they always see us as up there and themselves down somewhere.

We forget that we are nothing more than the convergence of choice and chance. That our ascendancy onto the thrones we occupy was the result of a fickle gust of breeze, which found us so light we are carried aloft for the period the wind blows. How we relate to others while we are lifted, of course, is who and what we really are. If you strive to put others down, it is only because you perceive yourself to be lower than them.

And so, instead of becoming a tyrant, let us use our upliftment as an opportunity for us to serve instead of being served. For it is through services to others that we can carve larger than human legacies. Let us use that to resuscitate the ache in our souls to lift others up. 

It is said that “nobody ever got lowered for uplifting others”. A noble soul cannot bear to inflict pain or suppress the talents of another. Hence, he or she is thoughtful about his or her decisions and actions, so that he or she is never the cause of anguish in another person. That is what we are called to do. And when we do that, we dignify ourselves and others.

The only law given to us by The Redeemer for ourselves is that we love one another as much as we love ourselves. This duty is all it takes for you to dignify your neighbour. It starts with good thoughts about people and about the world. This lights up our faces with warmth, generating an aura around us for others to trust and relate genuinely with us, and us with them…



Kodwo Brumpon is an author, a life coach and a philanthropist who inspires individuals, groups and organisations to think and feel that which is true by helping them positively respond to that which is beautiful, while nudging them to let goodness govern their actions.

Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at [email protected]

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