Global Citizenship: Citizens of the 21st Century

Global Citizenship: Citizens of the 21st Century


Global citizenship begins
with one individual. That individual
lives in a community, and that community
instills values in them. With those values,
that individual goes out into the world. I think global citizenship
means that you start locally and you extend
your awareness globally. Eleanor Roosevelt
was quoted this morning – she said that human rights begin
in small places so close to home that they
don’t appear on any map. Global citizenship
is not a status issue. It’s an attitude issue. For me, global citizenship
means thinking locally but acting globally, so it’s
about acting on a local level and thinking
on a worldwide level. For me, a global citizen is
someone who is very open-minded and realizes that they
are not alone in the world. That their actions have
an impact everywhere on Earth and that they realize
they are not solely defined by where they come from. So for myself,
I am not only a Montrealer, I am not only a Canadian;
I am a human being. For me,
global citizenship is foremost a feeling of belonging
based on a culture. A feeling that
the world’s evolution depends on
my openness towards it. Global citizenship is a
concept that is becoming more and more important,
and what makes it interesting is that it allows
every human being, every citizen of the world
to be conscious, at once, of their sense of belonging
to a specific community on a local level
and their sense of belonging, ultimately, to the world. Actually, it’s like putting
your glasses down for a moment and then looking
through someone else’s. One important quality
of a global citizen is respect
for all types of knowledge: local knowledge,
scientific knowledge, traditional knowledge included. Someone who doesn’t
just think of themselves or their community, but thinks of
the bigger picture in general. Respect for diversity,
empathy with people who are in difficulty beyond your national
border and solidarity to help them out in a local context
constitute a good beginning. The main qualities of a global
citizen, a world (citizen), are openness, curiosity,
it’s the way they see others. The main quality of
a global citizen would be that that citizen is ready to engage
in really difficult questions. The main qualities of
a global citizen are to be able to communicate with anyone and
respect anyone no matter class, area, religion,
background or culture. It’s basically
having compassion and empathy for others around me. It’s someone who is open-minded. Someone who accepts
the values of other countries, of the many people that
they meet along the way. Someone who is motivated
to make a difference, dedicated to what
they’re doing and is selfless. Communication and collaboration;
a willingness to participate in community and global events. The global citizen
is someone who really values individual
differences in a world where we all are
looking for common goods. My daily actions affect
people around the world. It’s a bit like
a drop of water in a lake that creates all of these waves. Therefore if I can affect one
person, that person can affect another person
and it continues on from there. My daily actions do affect
people right across the globe: the way I shop,
the way I consume. I need to be aware. I need to know and
then my knowledge needs to shift to action. If I were to help out
one person and start a change, it can change the world. As a global citizen
I help my children think about today
and the future. As a global citizen, what I
should advocate is making people realize that they are
not alone in this world. You should take action
to involve yourself in your own community and be a
support to everyone around you. The importance
of using social media to share ideas that come from
everywhere across the world. That way, we can foster the
growth of different visions. We are not only
private individuals, but we are also citizens. Citizens of a country
and citizens of the world.

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