What Does it mean to be a Global Citizen in The 21st Century?
There is a famous poem called "First They Came" which talks about how the Nazis came for each group of people and no one spoke up because it wasn't effecting them, and by the time they came for the last group, there was no one left to speak up. Being a global citizen means that you are going to stand up for the earth and all its people because if you don't, who will? To be a global citizen means that you are "someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices”(Ronald). In other words, this means that you are more concerned about a good life for everyone in the world, not just a good life for yourself. You might ask yourself why do I need to care about other people in the world? Why do I need to care about the earth? If you don't then who will.
The world that we live in is a gift that we all need to enjoy and take care of. Global citizens are concerned with minimizing waste and recycling materials, conserving energy, preserving natural habitats and leaving a legacy for future generations of a cleaner earth. A global citizen is active in recycling materials and purchasing products with reduced packaging. By creating renewable energy sources (wind, wave, and solar power), as well as driving hybrid or fuel cell cars, we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon emissions to reverse the damages we have done. According to Alina Bradford from Live Science, an estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year due to deforestation. The forest that is cut down is used for fuel, oil, timber, furniture, paper, and creating room for cattle. These are things that we consume every day, so it is important that as global citizens and caretakers of the earth, we purchase products that have been grown and harvested in sustainable ways. If we do not address this we increase the risk of climate change, which affects a large portion of the world's population, more extreme, destructive weather, health problems from pollution, and the destruction of beautiful natural environments and habitats. If you don't take action to leave a legacy for future generations to come then who will?
Being a global citizen in the 21st century is easier than ever before due to the advances in technology. Technology, such as the Internet and cell phones, is increasing our capability to connect and become involved with the rest of the world. Technology, such as social media, can help raise awareness for problems that are going on in other countries, and can create a way for anybody who is willing, to help fix those problems. Technology allows us to connect with the rest of the world with just one touch. According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults own a smartphone, which means they have access to the Internet for the most part. And according to Quartz, around 6.8 billion, out of 7 billion, people have cell-phone subscriptions. This connects people around the world on a whole new level, because as soon as something happens around the world, good or bad, it immediately gets uploaded to the Internet, for anyone to view. Technology raises an incredible amount of awareness for the world and interconnects us all through the push of a button or the touch of a finger.
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Being a global citizen means that you are going to stand up for the earth and all its people. Are you going to take action or are you going to allow history to judge us for being the most well-informed, but least active and individualistic generation. We have access to the most information on the world and its issues. Will your knowledge lead you to action? Will it move your heart not just fill your head? Are you going to take action before there's no one left to act?