Encounters: The Origins of Globalism
The first section of ?The Global Citizen? gives us a basic premise on which to proceed with developing the ideal of what it means to adopt the idea of being a global citizen. How can one citizen be global? How can we be a ?citizen? of the world? A way to begin to recognize the answers these questions we must first realize that global citizenship starts with the individuals need for realizing there should be change in the world.
Donald Will states in his article, ?Get Global?Or Get Left Behind? that ?it is in our own personal interest that we pay attention to international affairs?. He brings up examples of economic, social, political and environmental problems in the world that have effects on everyday people. He further concludes that the only way to initiate change of such problems if for people to develop a genuine care of worldly matters that either directly or indirectly affect them. One of the ways to develop this care is to develop a moral respect for other cultures and ways of life. And in order to create this moral respect is to put down our differences in an effort to embrace a global community.
The global situation is further explored in Fred Smoller?s ?Citizenship in the 21st Century?. Smoller analyzes the barriers to the changes that individuals can help to make. Among those he looks at are uniformed voters and a nation of people less likely and less able to participate in their community. The society that exists today is less interested in taking an active role in their government and thus many problems go unsolved. Smoller asks us to think about what a more progressive government would be like and offers certain ideas as to how that kind of government would be like. Among those, forcing a revamp of voting and campaign procedure, an information based media, and greater government education to students.
Smoller continues Will?s ideas bringing up the idea that the creation of a global citizen begins with that citizen?s determination to bring about change in his or her world and then actually following through with it. Both also emphasized knowledge of current affairs and use of new technology to communicate with others to help to create ?a revitalization of democracy at home and around the planet?.
The greatest point in so far has been the realizations of a global perspective. So much of what affects other parts of the world have some effect on us here. Thus we should force those in power to account for the dangers of environmental and political irresponsibility. If a person can attain this ?globalist? perspective, he or she can aspire to what it really means to be a global citizen.
The essay by Paul Apodaca, ?Regarding Global Citizenship? examines the literal definition of what it means to be a ?citizen? of the globe. He asks, ?Does global citizenry mean joining into a new social structure???. The questions is raised as to whose viewpoint does the global viewpoint come from. He continues to say that different cultures would have different views of what it means to be part of this perspective. Dr. Apodaca calls on the fact that a global citizen shouldn?t mean a person is part of a global government. Instead that person is one who is an ?informed individual? who can recognize cultural differences and those cultures own views of the world.
All of the essays demonstrate the need for educated individuals in the world. That idea is furthered by an essay by Albert Schweitzer, ?From: The Philosophy of Civilization, The Ethics of Reverence for Life?, in which he explores the idea of the need for ethics when it comes to dealing with other forms of life. Schweitzer states, ?Ethics are responsibility without limit towards all that lives.?. One would say that this essay was included in the book to expand the idea of a global citizen past human encounters, but encounters with all forms of life.
The problem of apartheid in South Africa and Native American treatment in the Americas are shown as examples of how human beings have encountered other cultures and dealt with their differences in various ways. Many times, these negative encounters have had a basis in human fear of difference.
Paul Apodaca further explains in ?Encounters? that future human encounters will occur in the everyday tasks and necessities of life. And because we will constantly be surrounded by these interactions, we must be ready to accept all they have to offer us in knowledge and understanding of life.
People of Columbus?s time approached the Native American encounter with fear and other encounters throughout history have suffered the same faults. Apartheid was the very non-progressive establishment that the global community let survive for too long. Today, South Africa struggles for democracy but the world still has yet to know the changes that a generation of global citizens could bring.
Knowing that there should be change in the world is an important factor in becoming a global citizen. That is because every encounter is dealt with by those just like us every day.