There’s one thing that’s real clear to me,
no one dies with dignity.
We just try to ignore the elephant somehow.
–Jason Isbell, “Elephant”
Is “dignity” about maintaining the illusion that the craziness happening around you isn’t happening? If so, acting in a “dignified” manner in the midst of circumstances like impending death or protesting civil rights abuses is the least dignified thing you can do.
“Dignity” also seems to involve self-denial of things that are fun that hurt no one, perhaps in favor of doing things that are not fun, but hurt lots of people. The British Empire was very dignified.
If growing up means
It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
-“I Won’t Grow Up”, Peter Pan
Also, skipping (aka, bipedal galloping). Skipping is joyous.