16 February 2012
What is a Global Citizen?
The concept of what defines a global citizen varies, for people have their own opinions and say about how they see an ideal one as. Kwame Appiah wrote Cosmopoltianism, and in his opinion, a global citizen is seen as one who sees no division within themselves and “others”; that it is necessary to agree with one another to behave morally. The view of an ideal global citizen has been altered for centuries, and in every culture it is uniquely seen and educated differently. Many Americans may agree when asked, “what is an ideal global citizen”, their responses would be, following the laws, paying taxes, helping out around the community, having a job or going to school and being of course patriotic. Though there is no correct answer, when thinking of an ideal global citizen, it must come to mind that it is yourself and how you play a role around the world… with over 6 billion people. Earlier read, Madeline Albright’s essay, she has brought the attention of American diplomats needing to know and understand foreign countries ties with religion and their government if we want easier and peaceful international affairs with them. She also presents how having religion and politics united as one may help the country prosper. In addition, Madeline’s and Appiah’s views on “global citizen” differ, with Madeline seeing a role played with having religion and government, and Appiah putting that aside, and just bringing together agreed morals with one another. In my opinion, being an global citizen means being mindful that we all live on the same planet and that our actions can have an impact on people in other parts of the world. In addition, being an “ideal” global citizen is, one who is aware of the world outside the U.S and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen, understand and perform basic morals, and one who is willing to voluntarily help others, putting passion and care first.
Through the past 12 years of attending elementary, middle and high school I can honestly say that I have never heard the term “global citizen”. The only thing close to that is the definition of an “American citizen”, which involves knowledge of civics, values, and skills. It is not until I read the selections, “Making Conversation and The Primacy of Practice” by Appiah, that the term global citizen has sunken in to my mind and wanting to master a true definition. There must be a reason into why school boards haven’t implied the teachings of global citizenship in the curriculum. Though reading the rest of Appiah's essay and from researching on my own time other writer opinions, it seems as if there is no consensus meaning on the term, which is understandable into avoiding the teachings of this concept. I believe it is a topic that must be brought up to children starting in elementary and over the years of continuing education. Imagine, having a child raised in your house, therefore they accustom your language, beliefs, and basically are just used to you. You send them to school and they realize that everyone looks different. Gender, skin color, kids with disabilities and so on so forth. Eventually, being curious they will ask questions, such as where are they from, why do his shoes look different from mine, why is she much taller then me? As a child growing up in America we are exposed to seeing people of different cultures, therefore making it important for the learning and understanding the variety of different kinds of people in the world. Even continuing growing up, since we have acquired more knowledge and we are able to have and discuss opinions, it makes it just as important to continuing educating ones self. With that said, one can understand why Muslim women wear face veils, the fighting over Jerusalem, why America’s school system is slacking, or what political party you want to vote for. Understanding the world outside from where you live opens your mind...