What Does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?
Posted by olakunlesoriyan
Global citizenship is nature, in that you really don’t have a choice as long as you were born somewhere on the earth. But most people miss the fact that you can be two kinds of citizens, an irresponsible one or a responsible one; a patriotic one or an unpatriotic one. Whichever way, global citizenship is the idea that we are all citizens of the globe, and therefore, we are all equally responsible for what happens on our planet and what happens to our world. Every global citizen has a duty to address issues of social injustice, inequality and environmental degradation. And while there remains to be no formal process to becoming a global citizen, holding citizenship status on our globe is something we all have a right to, and must prove it through the everyday choices and actions we make that directly impact the world around us. The fact that I have a right to be in Nigeria does not make me a citizen of Nigeria. And the fact that I was born in Nigeria, does not make me an active and responsible Nigerian citizen. I will have to engage at a level to be so. Therefore, that you are a natural citizen of the world, does not in any way confirm how much of a responsible or irresponsible citizen you are.
We have 7 billion global citizens, but less than 5% of them are truly active. Less than 5% of the 7 billion are responsible, patriotic and committed global citizens. Many had come and left unnoticed. Many are still coming and going unnoticed. Most are clear about the space they understand and how they can engage the space they know so strongly that they are able to create a kind of value to increase the size of their pockets and stretch the skin layers of their bellies; they simply never do enough to engender the kind of value that ensures that the space they know will never be the same again simply because of the impact and contributions they made. But there are some other global citizens with great value, who were also global citizens by nature through birth, but the whole world stood in honour of their departure from the planet. The world will only be built by men who are not necessarily presidents and governors, but global citizens who understand the responsibility they must defend as citizens, who know the high calling of standing for duties, rights, privileges and obligations that are critical for human advancement. We have them all over the world, from America, to Europe, Asia and a few sparks in Africa, they are there, representing necessary causes of action that have changed and will continue to change the course of human history.
The role of a global citizen also demands of us to be open to diverse perspectives, and to actively participate in global debates to better the world we live in. We must understand this better, because only as we do, can each of us understand and take our individual place in the deliberate effort to alleviate or eradicate the consistent human challenge of economic disequilibrium, social injustice, inequality and environmental degradation.
People always forget that all that is enough to change our world is a very small group of thoughtful, committed global citizens. As a matter of fact, it is the only thing that ever positively or negatively impacts the world. Global citizens are humans and ordinary people like each of us, yet made the self-choice to pay whatever necessary price will establish meaning and balance for a world they each know desperately needs it. Responsible global citizens are ordinary people who rose from nothing to determine how their fellow humans must live, love, work and even war. They weren’t necessarily born influential and some were, but they each made the choice to become so influential that the world of their own time and the ones after them will be grateful that they were its citizen, beginning with the space nature has given each of us to positively dominate.
The seven areas to focus on are the media, government, education, economy, religion, arts and entertainment and family. These seven areas hold the potential to separate the world from its wisdom or nuisance. This is where the battle is. Any nation-building commitment that neglects these seven areas cannot be serious in its commitment to drive change.
Now, have you noticed that those who changed the world did not need to travel round the world to do so? To be a global citizen does not necessitate that you leave your natural location, otherwise called your country or continent; It however demands that you influence your natural location so audibly that the whole world will experience the impact of your influence wherever they are in the world. Bill Gates does not know everyone in the world, but almost every informed mind knows the impact of Microsoft and windows. I doubt if Mr. Honda or Hewlett and Packard of HP ever came to Africa in their life time, but we are using their products all over the world till today. Philosophies and ideologies of human beings like Adam Smith or Shakespare are governing behaviour all over the world, but they didn’t need to travel the world to do so.
The idea is not to change what you are already doing and how you are already living your life. Rather, the idea is to ask you if what you are doing and how you are living your life is impacting your space in a way the people who experience you daily are grateful for. You can do that right where you are. Destiny is location sensitive and so is impact. Nature has determined our appointed times and the boundaries of our habitation. Being a global citizen demands that when you think about the kind of person you are, you have to be the one that thinks globally and act locally as the earliest steps of your global impact. Charity can begin from anywhere, but it is cost-effective to make it begin at home. You can start by joining an ongoing effort of other people or other organizations. Or you can even initiate a blog that educate others on the reality of environmental degradation, poverty, world inequality and other related global issues. It can even be as little as making it your duty to inform your friends, family and community on being an active global citizen. Don’t wait one more day, do something. Send me a mail, reach out to your community; and whatever you do, know that it is just the beginning; there is a world of opportunities for you to plan and get moving on.
Posted on May 6, 2014, in Smooth-Life*Clinic* and tagged Adam Smith, Bill Gates, Global citizen, HP, Human history, Microsoft, Shakespeare, Social Responsibility. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.