Monday, June 9, 2014

What being a global citizen means

Being a global citizen is something I understand a little bit more after my trip abroad. Before going abroad, I didn't quite understand the importance of global citizenship, and how big of an impact global citizens can have. When I began doing my research for this blog, I simply looked up the definition of "global citizen". What I found was that a global citizen is someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute  to building that community's values and practices. We as humans form communities based on shared identities. These identities come from the needs we have, such as economic, political, religious, and social needs. Modern technology and information made available to us is in large part the reason that global citizenship is so huge today. Increasing strength of technologies are enabling global citizens to connect to the rest of the world more easily. Being a global citizen does not mean that you are abandoning your other identities, such as allegiances to your country, ethnicity, or political beliefs. Being a global citizen gives meaning to our lives, and also adds an additional layer of responsibility. We are all responsible for helping in the building of a sustainable values-based world community. These values may include human rights, environmental protection, religious pluralism, gender equity, sustainable world wide economic growth, poverty alleviation, elimination of war and mass destruction, and more. 

Being a global citizen means you could participate in things such as advocating for policy and programmatic solutions that address global problems, participating in the decision making processes, adopting and promoting changes that help protect the earth's environment, and organizing events to celebrate the world's diversity. After traveling abroad, I now feel more connected to my global identity, and am going to strive to improve the world in any way I can. This could even be possible by improving my own knowledge of other cultures! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Social Responsibility

What is social responsibility? Well it is defined as an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organization or an individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.  Social responsibility is a duty everyone has to help maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.  As a nation, I think America has a social responsibility to not only focus on our success, but the success of other nations around the world.  It is also the other nation's job to help us become successful and stay that way.  I believe that is one of the reasons that America has gotten involved and helped when other countries have been in need around the globe.  It is our job, and social responsibility, to better other societies around us.  It was our social responsibility as students traveling abroad to act in a way that made not just our town and our college look good, but America as a whole also.  There have been many of my classmates blog about the bad reputations that us as Americans have while traveling abroad, and i believe that the people that got us those reputations failed to do fulfill their social responsibility.  Instead of going into a foreign country and making it better and giving them a better view of America, they gave a bad reputation to American tourists and caused those that come after them problems.  One of the social responsibilities I found people of London to be lacking in was the smoking area. While abroad I really noticed that people smoked everywhere! And this damages their social responsibility in the way that by buying the tobacco products, they are promoting them, and as we know tobacco damages our environment an also the people who use it. 
After returning home, I now understand that we all have a social responsibility while traveling and while at home. Depending on what you're in support of, you can buy products made it other countries or only made in America, smoke tobacco products, or protest against them. Either way, we each have a responsibility to support the economy and ecosystems we are in support of, and by doing so to the best of our abilities, we will create the world we wish to live in.