One of the questions that emerged in the strategic planning meeting that I participated in yesterday was how do you define what a Global Citizen is? I have added the time frame in the title, as this committee’s report is to help guide our school for the next three to five years. The head of our language department began to define, on our discussion board, that a world citizen is someone who:
- applies the same ethical standards to all human beings regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomics, and nationality.
- understands human differences as functions of genetics, history, culture, opportunity, and individual variances and value these differences.
- is proficient in at least two languages
- can put aside their own nationality and biases when assessing global issues.
- understands themselves to be members of a world community.
I want to publicly applaud her, as she has done a great job of framing the answer. I have added that a world citizen is someone who is empowered and impassioned towards active participation with others in the world, to brainstorm and try to solve some of the problems, no matter how small that they may seem. For as Margaret Mead states, “Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” And one of my boyhood idols, Roberto Clemente was once quoted as saying, “If you can make life better for others and you fail to do so, you are wasting your time on earth.”
But, knowing this may be read by others with different world views and perspectives, what would you add to the definition?