I started out this blog with the idea of, as it says above, "chronicling my journey towards becoming a global citizen".
Well, what exactly does that mean? What does it MEAN to be a citizen of the whole world?
What does Wikipedia say?
The final authority on everything has a fair amount to say on the idea of global citizenship. Two things stand out to me. The first is a quote from British author Thomas Paine:
"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
I like that. It's snappy.
Second is what immediately follows, the part of global/world citizenship that interests me:
When translated into participatory action, global citizenship entails a responsibility to reduce international inequality (both social and economic), to refrain from action which compromises an individuals' well-being, and avoids contributing to environmental degradation. (emphasis mine)
It seems simple enough, but so many people have this issue where they can't even think beyond their own wants at home, not really realizing how much is going on outside in the big world.
So what's your take?
My understanding of global citizenship is actually closer to what some critics call "global-oriented citizenship". I believe that all of us, as human beings, have a responsibility to not only support and improve our own nation and society, but to help others in their quest to becoming more perfect nations and societies. All of our cultures have faults, big or small, which we need to eradicate; sometimes it takes an outsider to point it out and help to solve it.
Now, I'm not suggesting what the US likes to do, which is butt in on people's business and take away their cultures altogether. I believe with greater global interaction (such organizations like the Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders are great for this), we can all experience a little bit of each other's culture, and find what moves us, makes sense to us and betters us. For example, I was impressed by the Italian attitude of il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing)- the understanding that it's important to take time to rest and not do anything for work or school, but just to have some classic R&R. I think countries like the US, with a "work now, play later" attitude, or Japan, where people are supposedly literally working themselves to death and dying at their desks, need to incorporate this into their culture. It's simply healthy.
Now, I'm not saying that Italian culture is infallible- there are some awful sexist attitudes that have gotten in the way of justice in the past. But that's when they can learn something from, say, Scandinavian countries, where women are socially and legally equal.
My point is this: global citizenship is the ability to teach others and simultaneously learn from those you teach. It is the ability to acknowledge that everyone on this earth has something to contribute to a greater human race, and everyone has the right to be a part of the human race.
It is, in a sense, the ability to love and cherish indiscriminately. And that's what I find beautiful.