What is a Global Citizen? How do you become one?
Of course, the title of this post reflects a bit of my own cultural heritage as someone raised in the Southern United States, since not many other folks use the word y’all (a contraction of you all- for those unfamiliar with Southernisms) on a regular basis.
Nowadays, I live in pretty rural small town in Indonesia. More often than not I am the only white person around. On a daily basis, I speak about as much Indonesian as I do English. And somehow I have learned to survive without grits, biscuits, butter and gravy and I’ve grown used to rice for breakfast!
So how did all this happen? Am I one of those Global Citizen fellas?
Like most things in life there is no clear cut, easy or simple answer. But instead it involves a series of events that are all interconnected and intertwined in some great web of cause and effect that have lead me down this path I have both simultaneously chosen and designed and serendipitously stumbled upon.
Here is what a few friends of mine have thought about this topic.
While there is no simple answer I do think back on all the experiences and adventures I’ve had in life and feel there are a few key ingredients:
1)Learn to Walk Between the Worlds– what is this all about? Click the link to find out!
2)Open up to experience- seek out and try new things, meet new people, new experiences, learn new skills & new knowledge
3)See life as an adventure- everything can be seen as an adventure and a learning opportunity. Often, our failures teach us more than our successes. And for goodness sakes jump off your porch, get outside and travel around!
4)Take risks- get outside your comfort zone. All of them- physical, emotional, psychological, cultural and explore the world around you. Expand your world view and see what else is out there in this great big ole world we live in.
5)Self reflection & solitude- think about yourself, about who you are, about who you want to be and who you can become. Spend time alone thinking about these things. Quite often the most difficult person to spend time with is yourself and the most contradictory person you will ever meet resides in your own skin.
6)Seek opportunities- every path will have choices. Every roadblock or dead end presents a new challenge and a new opportunity. Seek these out and follow your bliss.
7) Learn in as many different ways as possible- academic education is great but there is more to learning than being in a classroom. Get outside, talk to people, learn new skills, get your hands dirty in the mud, walk barefoot in the grass, travel around and see everything you do as a learning opportunity.
There is definitely a lot more to it than this… but these are things we can ponder.