Below I have included the text of His Majesty King Harald's New Year's speech, which focused on the "power of dignity," and cites HRH Crown Prince Haakon's leadership in Norway around GLOBAL DIGNITY DAY, as the world headed into a not so certain 2011. I believe the King provided a broad-based vision here, which includes us all.
Just after the new years I was honored to join Global Dignity co-founders HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Professor Pekka Himenan, as we shared ideas with, and gained wisdom from, King Harald and his lovely wife the Queen. Proud to say that on some level I now know this great man for our times. How far he has brought Norway, which is now a leader and role model amongst nations, in the world.
An honorable leader for our times. Frankly, the world could use a few more like him.
His Majesty King Harald's New Year speech 31 December 2010.
Getting bigger! Tomas Espedal encouraged the author in an interview this
summer. Be greater as a human being! This I think tonight when we go
into a new year.
Growing as a human being, I believe, among other things, is about daring
to take on challenges, to stand for what we believe. By standing by our
choices and opinions, we are more whole and safer.
My experience is that we rarely regret what we have to push ourselves a
little too daring. It is often what we did, we regret.
As I get older, I have become less fearful of the reactions to my
choices and actions. We must see ourselves in the mirror in the morning
and say that we are trying to be the best of ourselves.
I am so lucky to meet many people who make a deep impression on me in
different contexts. Also this year I have met people who use their time
to make a contribution to others. We call them often enthusiasts. I hit
them in medaljemottakelser here at the Palace, the county trips,
visiting around the country and audiences.
They fill an irreplaceable place in the local environment - a place that
relies on beating hearts. The broad participation in volunteer
activities is one of the finest of the Norwegian society.
One example is the school pupils' own humanitarian action - ODW. Over 45
years, youth involved with other young people in poor countries.
Often considered society's challenges in an economic scale: What will
the aging population cost in dollars and cents? How expensive will be
dropping out of school will be in length? What is the price tag on a
good drug policy? And what is the cost of so many are unemployed?
It is understandable that these questions are - but it is equally
important to turn on it - and ask: What are we missing as a society when
people do not get to use their resources?
Behind the big numbers, it's about challenges in individual people's
lives. We must not put each other in groups in a way that alienates us
or obliterated our uniqueness. We put price tag on people, we deprive
each other value, we make each other less.
This fall there has been a particular focus on dignity, through the
Global Dignity Day, who was with the Crown Prince and arranged by
schools in every county.
A girl in Lier said: "Something good is in everyone. Dignity is found in
all. "She had understood something simple, but essential.
One boy admitted that he had used the word "gay" as an insult - but
repented and prayed all the gays at school apologized when one of her
classmates responded, saying he was gay.
A seller of street magazine = Oslo told me how it had strengthened his
dignity to sell magazines, instead of begging. Being able to say "be so
good" - not just "thanks" with a curved neck.
These are stories to be larger.
In a society can easily human dignity often be put to the test. This can
anyone get to experience in their lifetime. In a very short time we can
go from having - to lose - and be sidelined. Illness or a life crisis
can make us completely or partially disabled.
I think everyone can get into how difficult it is to be seen just a
small part of everything we are as human beings. A man from Afghanistan
may have had a good job, position, and a rich social life in their
homeland. So he comes to Norway as an asylum seeker - and is suddenly a
stranger - without language, without a job, with few opportunities to
contribute. Then it is easy to start thinking small thoughts about
Every person has the resources to use in our community - regardless of
nationality, health status, life experience, age and social conditions.
We just help each other to see them, and prepare to use them. A resource
I hope employers are increasingly know how to appreciate, is the
multicultural competence that many in our country possesses. Norwegian
youth born of parents with different cultural backgrounds have an
experience and an insight that is becoming increasingly important for us
in a smaller world.
Our greatest responsibility is the children. Also this year we have been
outraged by stories of children who are hurting because adults are
unable to take care of them. This is translating children. Even in
Norway, children born into very different circumstances. Exactly that's
the difficult to influence. But what we can do something is to give them
more equal opportunities. Sometimes it is the one essential in a child's
A teacher, a neighbor, a soccer coach, a school nurse. We may all be
one. We must dare to care - nor bear to be accused of mixing us. Many of
those who today are struggling with substance abuse problems have
experienced being neglected or abused as children. The school can be a
vital body on the road. Therefore, it is serious when young people do
not complete their schooling. When they lose both safety net and future
possibilities - and thus particularly vulnerable. We must give young
people confidence so they can grow up with faith in themselves.
Will we grow as human beings, we must concern ourselves beyond our own
domestic affairs. We are Norwegians, while we are world citizens who
live in a gl obal community. This year we have highlighted that there was
a hundred years ago, Herman died. He managed to look beyond their own
nationality, and committed himself to people outside the country. It
made an impression during his state visit to Slovakia in the fall to see
how valued propagator is still after his efforts to defend the Slovak
people's language and culture. With the current flow of information made
it even greater demands on our continued commitment than Bjørnson time.
It is too easy to forget when the media spotlight goes out.
Flood disaster in Pakistan and the earthquake in Haiti are examples of
this. But for those who are affected, disasters will affect life and
society in the years to come.
Thousands of Norwegians are always engaged in international service out
there. I will tonight especially greet Norwegian women and men who work
for peace, stability and development - in the military, foreign service
and humanitarian organizations. It's great to give up domestic security
- and choosing the risk it means to serve in a conflict area. My
thoughts are also with everyone at home who miss them out there. And
among those who mourn after losing one of their loved ones.
No one can rule over life and death. But we can cherish and protect. In
the year 2010 biodiversity has focused on the preservation of the
planet's biodiversity. This is also an area in which to assess the value
of a financial measure falls short. We have a responsibility for all
life, and it requires great wisdom to manage natural resources in a good
way. Indian chief Francois Paulette in Canada expressed it as follows:
"Mother Earth needs your help now."
I think our own peace of mind can mean the freedom of others. Are we
encountered in ourselves, we are threatened not so easily by others -
even if they are different from us.
When the Queen and I at the beginning of our work selected blessing in
Nidaros Cathedral, it was because we felt a need pick support and
strength from our establish when such a large choice should be taken. It
gave a foundation. When one finds his own party, it is easier to meet
others where they stand.
There is a constant challenge for us as a society and individuals to
live with differences - and appreciate it as enrichment. In a way the
family can be considered as a mini-society. Ever since we are young we
learn, through the family, to live with inequality. Sometimes the
conflict - but also in love - because we are linked by special ties and
need each other - despite all the differences. This experience can also
bring us into other contexts.
We rely on opinions and public debate to grow as a community. Therefore,
it is dangerous when extreme movements are not readily expressed - where
they can be challenged openly.
In Norway, freedom and equality apply to everyone. No one should be
frightened into silence.
The philosopher and bishop Aurelius Augustine, who lived around 400
years, wrote something very wise: "Tension in the central, freedom in
the peripheral, love in everything." Maybe we should try to meet each
other in its generosity - and look at what in fact it is central and
what is peripheral - basically what's great and what is small. All
nations, cultures and religions is an expression of charity. And
everyone has an understanding of what dignity means. This is key, and it
What if we met in the question: What can I do for you to have the best
I wish that we can look each other in the new year. Be there for each
other. We all know life's vulnerability. We know that it alternates
between light and darkness, between joy and sorrow, despair and hope. In
this whole, we can dare to meet each other: In a room that is generous -
and where its own security means freedom of others.
We must act boldly and do what we think is right.
As we grow as people.
As we grow as a nation.
I wish everyone a happy new year!