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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Global Citizens

The world is becoming smaller through advancing technology. Much more of the world is visible thanks to a multi-media landscape that invites us to become global citizens. Some step cautiously and others bound in to capture intriguing new information. Religion, politics and culture have often been the protagonists separating one country from another. Highly ridged beliefs do not allow the freedom to meet people of other cultures without a sense of distrust! We share this magnificent planet but are still working through the differences that divide us. Empathy and awareness are needed to see that most people around the world want the same thing; a place to live in safety, food on the table, the love of a family, a purpose to their life and a healthy future.
Access to information has been limited over the centuries, of course there have been libraries for numerous centuries, but many could not read or did not have access. Now there is up to the minute updates from around the world. Injustices that ask for attention quickly burst into view! We are sickened by what some are capable of, we feel compassion for those that are suffering, but most often it’s a sort of ignorance that lets us down as a united people. The horrors of the world can either unite humanity or make the rift wider, depending on ideological beliefs and whether events are natural or belong to intent.
People are born in different nations with various cultural backgrounds! No one can firmly give a reason why some are born in poverty while others seem to have all that they need; but there are things to be learned in both circumstances. Learning about neighbouring traditions through quality information and experience is a crucial step in removing restrictive barriers. Dare to read the tenants of another religion, learn about cultural etiquette, go to a local festival, and if the funds allow it take an overseas holiday to get the full experience. Maybe the division isn’t that wide?
In order to become global citizens prejudices must be removed. Even those from major world wars are starting to see their enemies in a different light, especially if they were conscripted and also had families they hoped to return to. War is often a trigger from fear and xenophobic attitudes that sometimes gets perpetuated down through the generations. In order for people of different beliefs and cultures to get along we need to start with our children, they need to know that looking different, or having special ways of doing things is not so strange, but rather a unique expression of who they are! The world is made up of many nations who are quite unique in a wonderful way. Lessening the culture shock is a good place to start.
Schools have always taught history and geography; time restraints naturally limit how much teachers can cover, but it is the spiritual or religious beliefs of other nations that are often left out. This is because many schools have a preferred religion within the curriculum which extends from the dominate beliefs of each country. In a beautiful sweep of consciousness change is occurring in the nations that have a multi-cultural population or outlook. Giving equality a helping hand certainly removes layers of uncertainty. Young minds are now learning in an atmosphere free of barriers.  A person is just a person till you know the differences that make them irreplaceable!  Education and spiritual awareness are key to living a life of peaceful satisfaction. 
It’s not necessary to travel the planet to be a worldly individual, though holidaying or living in other countries certainly helps – you are a global citizen each time you venture into the world of others. You’re a worldly and aware individual when you participate in public events in your community. There are many public events that you can participate in where you can express your beliefs; talks, workshops, marches, organisations and fundraisers can be a good place to start. If some of these feel too political try environmental appreciation with tree planting days, clean-up events or visit a national park, you never know who you will meet! You can also help by volunteering time to help the homeless, visit nursing homes, join groups that assist refugees or any other community projects that have your attention. 
Cultural diversity is something to celebrate, it only divide’s when people believe that their culture, religion, politics or genetic heritage sits above all others. These rigid beliefs create a toxic environment that gets passed down through the generations. Releasing these stereotypical views is easier in countries without current conflicts and some countries are finding it harder to break these cycles of hostility. Those in a distant viewing position are naturally appalled that wars and attacks on the innocent can still rage in a modern world where so many nations of people have become friends. United peaceful outcomes are created by strong, patient and tolerant individuals.
Understanding arrives when nations know that they are unique, but have an outward desire to learn about each other. When we help each other with the natural disasters and food shortages that affect our planet we are indeed global citizens. The more clarity we obtain – the better life will be. Then we are able to feel at ease with all nations as egocentric motives dwindle. No nation is better than another; no one can stand in power and say they are better than the rest; that is where true ignorance lies. The global citizen sees beyond these adolescent rumblings to a place where peace resides. Just a little effort in understanding can make a surprising difference.  

Sharon D Bush 
Writer   Historian   Artisan   Sage     


Book: The Scrolls of Wisdom, philosophical/spiritual self-help book finished (on the final edit – looking for publishers).