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Global citizenship is a personalized journey

The harsh reality is that no matter how woke people advertise themselves,  myself included, people have the tendency to not worry about news, events and positions that do not fall into their immediate life. People go through their routine and life by focusing on themselves and the people who they interact with the most. As a result, a dangerous, complicit society is created. We care when something affects us personally, and until it does, the majority of us will disassociate ourselves from life-changing and life-altering circumstances for others. 

However, the key questions are: What is the right amount of empathy and what amount of social awareness are we responsible for as individuals? 

Within the last 40 years, the United States has seen countless movements for marginalized groups and increased tolerance, but not necessarily increased awareness of the nuances that impact these two areas the most. The answer is to be a global citizen. 

Global citizenship is the concept that every person has inherent rights and civic responsibilities that transcend geography and nationality. Instead, global citizens belong to a wider class of “humanity” with geography and nationality placed  second to their identity. Global citizens have the responsibility to pursue knowledge, respect all people, learn and experience as many different cultures as possible and to think on a macro and micro level what goes on outside of your daily life. 

The College of Wooster harps on our student body to be globally aware and civically engaged. We must fulfill certain class requirements that the College sees fit to foster critical thinking and awareness. However, being a global citizen is something every person should want to do by themselves. It goes beyond the classroom setting. Global citizens ought to seek out resources and opportunities that grow their knowledge and experiences to benefit themselves and others, in whatever level of accessibility they have. People should read the news weekly, at least. There are so many resources that synthesize world news and complex topics that there is no excuse to not be up to date. If you do not know where to start, I suggest attending various religious events and cultural events.

However, my personal journey started with Model United Nations at The College of Wooster. Model United Nations is an academic club that is advised by Dr. Kent Kille. The simulations, extensive research and preparation are based on objectives of becoming global citizens. The team intertwines global news, positionality and culture to obtain a fuller and deeper understanding of the country we represent. Furthermore, the meetings require us to be aware of situations in various regions across the globe and to understand the implications and what is at stake with certain Member-States being involved. The United Nations focuses on many areas that global citizens advocate for, such as education, gender parity, cultural preservation and the ensurement of human rights. As a result, students who participate in Model United Nations walk away with a deeper understanding of global connections and the interconnectedness of culture and spheres of influence. Often, the knowledge gained at meetings and conferences has been used to obtain internships, aid in research for papers and enriched engagement within communities. The scope of people who participate in Model United Nations is widened and is one that continuously and constantly thinks of people across the world in varying situations. 

 

Annelisea Brand, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at ABrand21@wooster.edu.

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