Who is a global citizen?
Is it that dreadlocked dude who busks by the street corner singing John Lennon songs all day? Is it that gorgeous influencer who is campaigning for skin-care products for people of color? Or is it that gamer who rarely leaves the house has a near-zero carbon footprint, and eats only raw food?
The answer: PERHAPS!
The thing is, anyone can be a global citizen. You could be a lawyer fighting for human rights or an intern at Google who only buys fair-trade chocolate. You could be a shopaholic who gives up meat or a plant-hoarder who eats Cheetos for breakfast. Your religion, nationality, age, gender, and cultural identity don’t hold you back from identifying as a global citizen. In fact, these factors support the unique global citizenship practice that you come up with!
– Are you someone that cares about the future of your city, your country, and your planet?
– Are you interested in supporting impact-driven initiatives that are bettering the world around you?
Regardless of the color of your hair or the type of cheese you put on your pizza, if you answered YES to the two questions, I must confirm that you, my dude, are a global citizen.
What do global citizens do?
We’re working on a universal handshake but until we figure that one out, there is no real common denominator amongst global citizens. This is simply a group of humans who in their individual and collective capacity care about the world. And they express it by championing a few causes that have a local and global impact. It’s not just about paying lip service and liking all the woke accounts on Instagram, but it’s about stepping out of your rooms and jumping headfirst into the big bad world to make a difference.
Global citizenship is a movement that is built around the belief that before any identity tag is lobbed onto our precious heads, we are all humans first. And just as humans are all diverse and unique snowflakes, how we express our humanity is equally diverse. How you express your concern for the planet and its inhabitants is a matter of your physical reality, your skill set, and your interests. There is no one ring to bind them all, but a highly specific array of rings that you can customize as per your preferences. Either way, Middle Earth is safe under your watch.
Creating your own global citizenship practice
The movement is as long as it is wide and pretty much anything goes if you are bettering the globe in some way. However, it would be unfair of me to claim that there wasn’t a set of global needs that required our utmost attention first. While reckoning with the changing tides of time and, um, global collapse, it helps to have some areas to focus on. Or else, you find yourself knitting jumpers for succulents while the rest of your country succumbs to droughts, floods, or forest fires! So, without further ado, here are some global needs that you can address at the local level.
Sustainable lifestyle choices
From zero waste to DIY to activism to eco-businesses, there are numerous ways in which a sustainability warrior can contribute to the need of the hour – which is to stop clogging the guts of our planet.
From neighborhood gatherings to community gardens to visiting cultural centers and volunteering in soup kitchens, there is much you can do to bridge the gaps between people and come together as one motley crew of global citizens!
Healing & Empowerment
Balanced minds and balanced bodies contribute best to the creation of a balanced world, so then what’s holding us back from investing in our own well-being? In overcoming our own barriers, we empower ourselves to take charge of our lives, contribute to our societies meaningfully, and create a free and fair world.
Ecology & Environment
Attend a beach clean up, donate to rainforests, ask your politicians how they intend to conserve the environment and stay up to date with the latest climate goals and you might find that your sense of belonging to Planet Earth is stronger than you thought!
Support the small businesses in your neighborhood and city that are empowering ordinary people, circulating the money within the community, and bringing change to your doorstep. A strong locale is the best defense against pandemics, but also zombies, if I’m not mistaken!
Culture & Heritage
As much as we romanticize the borderless approach, we’re all from somewhere. And our sense of compassion begins with our home and the preservation of who we are. Protect those buildings, support those artists, and open up your culture to new ideas and innovation.
Article compiled by Martina Camatta, Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale