Global Citizenship Begins at Home

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Global Citizenship Begins at Home

[Thanks, ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate this opportunity of standing here and delivering my speech. ]

I have read a small piece of writing on BBS, which impressed me a lot. It says: “Someone think that Holland is so small that even a child can cover it with his own hand on the map. But what they don’t understand is that the Atlantic Ocean is like the front yard of our country, while all of the Europe is our backyard.”

Living in an increasingly interdependent global society, each of us is being called upon to explore what it means to be a truly global citizen.

Two professors working in Education for Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility define global citizenship as knowledge and skills for social and environmental justice. In my understanding, global citizenship is a sense of responsibilities for the world as a whole, rather than for a specific country or community. A global citizen should respect and value diversity; should be outraged by social injustice; should have an understanding of how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally. Moreover, he or she should be willing to act to make the world a more sustainable place and take responsibility for his or her actions.

This description of a Global Citizen sounds ideal. It may feel like rather a holy order, but don't be put off! It’s never enough to know about the wider world. You don’t necessarily have to travel to a distant place to become a global citizen. And also you don’t necessarily have to do anything to change the whole world significantly. I believe that “global citizenship begins at home”– with any act that recognizes our place in the world and our responsibility to our fellow citizens. A global citizen should participate in and contribute to the community, but at a range of levels extending from local to global.

As individuals, what we can do is usually quite limited. But when...
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