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10 Steps to Becoming a Global Citizen
(from our partner—The Global Citizens Initiative)
There is an emerging world community to which we all belong. The growing interconnectedness among people, countries, and economies means that there is a global dimension to who we are. The most positive way of responding to this is by pursuing a path of global citizenship. Global citizens see ourselves as part of an emerging world community, and are committed to helping build this community’s values and practices.
Here are 10 Steps that you can take if you are interested in becoming a global citizen.
Step 1. RECOGNIZE THE GLOBAL PART OF WHO YOU ARE: All of our lives have become globalized; whether through the Internet, the way in which we’re impacted by the global economy; our desire to provide humanitarian assistance to disaster victims in countries other than our own; or even in our love of world art,music, food, and travel. We all have a part of us that is global. Examine your own life, recognize its global dimension, and reflect on how that affects your view of the world.
Step 2. EXPAND YOUR DEFINITION OF COMMUNITY: Because of the many ways in which countries and people are now so interconnected, we all are now part of an emerging world community. This doesn’t mean that we have to give up being a member of other communities, e.g., our town, our country, our ethnicity. It means that we have another community—the world community—to which we now belong. Find ways to celebrate your connection to this community.
Step 3. DISCOVER THE VALUES OF THE WORLD COMMUNITY: Every community needs to have values, and the world community is no exception to this rule. The values of the world community reflect the moral ideals that most of us believe in as the basis for human existence; for example human rights, religious pluralism, participatory governance, protection of the environment, poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, elimination of weapons of mass destruction, prevention and cessation of conflict between countries, humanitarian assistance, and the preservation of the world’s cultural diversity. Take stock of your belief in these values. Are you aware of ways in which the world as a whole is trying to live by them?
Step 4. BECOME AWARE OF GLOBAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS: Whether you realize it or not, all around you, policies and programs are being developed to help govern our emerging world community. Such policies range in scope from international treaties that ban the spread of nuclear weapons to administrative rules and regulations governing the internet. Learn about these policies and programs by subscribing to publications such as GCitizen, the Newsletter of The Global Citizens’ Initiative (www.theglobalcitizensinitiative.org).
Step 5. ENGAGE WITH THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE TRYING TO GOVERN THE WORLD: As a global citizen you should try and build awareness about the different organizations, which are making the policies shaping our world community. These organizations include international agencies, like the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, legal tribunals like the World Court and the International Criminal Court, international professional associations like the The International Federation of Accountants or the International Civil Aviation Organization, and transnational corporations like Starbucks, Hindustan Lever, and Smith/Kline/Glaxo. Try to learn about and engage with these organizations and make sure that they are operating in accordance with the values we perceive to be important.
Step 6. PARTICIPATE IN AN ADVOCACY EFFORT FOR GLOBAL CHANGE: Sign petitions, join demonstrations, contribute funds, and explore other ways of advocating for global change. As global citizens we need to join together to express the fact that people across the planet share common views when it comes to basic values such as human rights, environmental protection, and the banning of weapons of mass destruction. The Global Citizens’ Initiative (TGCI) is an organization that provides information and opportunities for global citizens to join together and advocate for change.
Step 7. HELP ENSURE YOUR COUNTRY’S FOREIGN POLICY PROMOTES GLOBAL VALUES: Global citizens also are citizens of the countries in which they were born and live. As such we have the ability to influence the positions that our countries take on global issues. We need to help ensure that our country’s foreign policy supports the building of equitable global solutions to world problems; solutions that work for all countries. So let your government know how you feel by supporting leaders who want their countries to become engaged with the world, not isolated from it.
Step 8. PARTICIPATE IN ORGANIZATIONS WORKING TO BUILD WORLD COMMUNITY: There are all sorts of organizations making important contributions to our emerging world community—NGOs, global action networks, international professional associations, transnational corporations, and others. They work on a range of issues related to the values of our world community—ranging from human rights to world arts and culture. Pick one, any one that relates to an issue in which you are interested, and get involved.
Step 9. NURTURE A LIFESTYLE THAT SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: The environmental movement has taught us a great deal about how everyday lifestyles and behaviors can have an impact on the quality of life on our planet. The types of transportation we use, how we heat or cool our homes, the types of clothes we wear and the food we eat all affect our quality of life. As global citizens we need to adopt environmentally responsible behaviors in the ways we live.
Step 10. SUPPORT WORLD ART, MUSIC, AND CULTURE: Being a global citizen is also a celebration of the many different arts and cultures of our people. Take time to learn the ways in which different cultures give expression to the human spirit.