“What is global citizenship?”
This question floated into my mind as I sipped a cup of Turkish coffee and nibbled on a delicate French pastry.
Wikipedia defines global citizenship as, “a person who places their identity with a “global community” above their identity as a citizen of a particular nation or place.”
With the advancements of the internet and technology, increasing entrepreneurship and expanding conglomerates, aren’t we all in one way or the other becoming global citizens who partake of a community and a world that’s larger than our own “birth” nation?
This melding and mingling of cultures and nationalities can lead to tricky questions about global citizenship.
Does a global citizen forget their loyalty or love for their “native” country?
No, if anything, being a global citizen helps one realize how blessed they are to have more than one country to call home.
Does being a Third Culture Adult (TCA) lead to confusion and chaos when raising kids?
No. Third Culture Adults tend to raise children who respect cultures, values and nationalities, regardless of where they’re from.
Does global citizenship place greater responsibility on our shoulders?
Yes, yes it does. You do need to think of the world as your home. As a result, your words, actions and thoughts do have a larger impact.
As someone who was born in Boston and now lives in Dubai for the greater part of the year, I know that the challenges of global citizenship can be wearying at times. (Often I feel that I spend more time in airports than my living room.)
You learn to figure time zones out quicker than multiplication tables.
You learn to call different places in different countries “home” and not give it a second thought.
You learn to pack and unpack with ease and elegance.
You learn…and you un-learn as well.
You un-learn beliefs held, assumptions made and habits long outgrown.
Global citizenship, in my heart and mind, is quite simply considering the community at large my own. Regardless of the country I may be in, it is home.
What does global citizenship mean to you?