Saturday, August 10, 2013


As I write this post, I am sitting in the conservatory (a bridge/lounge between two parts of a hotel...also the only place I have found free wifi!!) of the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. These last few weeks have been busy to say the least. Last week I was in Pueblo, Colorado for a Ladies' Conference (with church), and the week before that I was in Branson, Missouri for Junior Bible Quizzing nationals (I coach a team). To add to that mix, I am also currently taking two classes online, both Global Issues and Global Systems. I should say I was taking - the classes both ended yesterday.

Though my crazy schedule really did prevent me from putting my all into the last bit of my classes, I feel that I've learned a lot through them. So here, for a post, I'd like to say some first about globalization and then about global citizenship.

Globalization poses so many interesting questions. While it is undeniable that it brings about many positive developments, I think many would agree as well that it has a lot of negative consequences. Now, I just studied to death about all these forms of globalization, economic, cultural, political, etc. so I won't go into trying to explain each. However, I would like to speak a little more generally and really, more personally on the issue. See, I think we're all part of globalization. Look at where your clothes were made. Probably not in your own country. Look at where your laptop/tablet/iphone/whatever was manufactured. Again, probably not in your own country. The car you drive is likely from another country. Even the food you eat might be from another country. All that being said, clearly globalization affects us all. Globalization might create more jobs, it might make products cheaper, it might provide more opportunities. This doesn't sound too bad, right? The other side of all this, I think, is the cultural element. Some critics of globalization would say that cultures die because of it. When a western country like the United States saturates the market of another country, its influence may indeed be detrimental to that culture. However, to me, "globalization" and "westernization" don't have to mean the same thing. I don't think a country should have to become westernized to take part in the global community. When you look at this world, I mean, really look at it, think about the 7 billion people here, think about all the countries, ethic groups, and personalities, why would we want to lose that unique beauty? I wouldn't. So in becoming globalized, I think it's extremely important that people also hold on to their own unique culture and values. Ultimately, in globalization, as in many things, it's just crucial to find the happy medium.

Now, global citizenship, it seems to me, can be a key to finding that happy medium. Global citizenship is ultimately about seeing oneself as a citizen of the world. This idea is transcendent to the fact that I'm from Denver, Colorado, USA. See, I'm just from the world, just like everyone else reading this page. That idea tends to bring a certain unity and peace. I have readers from China, India, Russia, the United States, Lithuania, Indonesia, and more, and we are probably all experiencing globalization to some extent, like I said before. But while we should hang on to our own unique cultures, embracing global citizenship allows us to embrace each other, celebrating our differences. This all presents us with a unique opportunity: a global commonality that can lead to a global friendship.

A couple weeks ago, in my work at the Global Refugee Center, the children had a "world culture" themed week. On Friday, I let the little ones paint a mural together to celebrate the beauty in our differences. If children can appreciate this idea so much, I think we all can.
I don't usually get many comments on my post, but I encourage you to comment on this one. I have it set up so you can even do so anonymously. I just want to know your thoughts on this... How has globalization impacted you? What does it mean to you? What do you think about it? Do you see yourself as a global citizen? Thoughts?

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