As a blogger, I realize that not everyone will read this blog let alone agree with what I say here. My promise for 2017: I am going to blog about topics that may make people (even my family & friends) uncomfortable and sometimes may not agree with. And you know what? That’s okay. In my effort to practice more self-authenticity, I need to “rock the boat”. For myself, I find so much value in reading blogs, articles, and books I may not wholeheartedly agree with because when my mind is stretched I gain more understanding, perspective, and acceptance (or tolerance based on how you want to view the glass).
Global citizenship is not necessarily indicative of the places you’ve traveled or stamps you’ve collected in your passport, but it’s a mindset of how you view yourself and others in this big, wide open world. Since I’ve only lived in two countries, some may not see me as the best spokesperson for global citizenship, but can’t we all be global citizens?
As a global citizen, I recognize that my actions (or lack of) have consequences for people in communities locally, nationally, or internationally. I realize that yes, the world is a complex place and yet through those complexities, we are all intertwined through connections and interdependencies. We are all human after all.
Being born in one of richest countries in the world, I am not ignorant to the opportunities this has allowed me. I’ve had the opportunity to go to college (twice), purchase a car, vote, travel across the country and live abroad. It has taken me the better part of 30 years (okay, 29 years & 11 months & 7 days) to learn to embrace and come to some understanding of the world around me and how my actions, big or small, shape the world. To echo the sentiment of Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity, I also see it as my social responsibility to invest in people because I was born in a country that has given me so much. This was not my choosing, but a privilege, as most privileges are —not a choice. I am not mad about it, but instead, I am grateful.
If you’re like me, some of the following |5| traits of global citizenship may resonate with you, so here’s what you can do about it.
|1| Your Emotional Intelligence is on Point.
High emotional intelligence and global citizenship are not mutually exclusive. Global citizens tend to have an uncanny ability to tap into and recognize their own emotions and feelings, as well as those of people around them. We all have experiences that have shaped our worldview. Experiences that have sparked passion and empathy. Some of us discovered this during our time in college, some of us even earlier, and some of us while living abroad. Emotional intelligence is a wonderful trait to navigate most social situations. Having high emotional intelligence shows your level self-awareness, self-control, interpersonal skills, empathy, and motivation. Some of the most important qualities to impact the world.
What to do about it: Lead by example. Become an advocate for things that matter.
|2| You Pay Attention to the Details.
We ask questions…then ask some more. Global citizens aren’t satisfied with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without knowing the ‘why,’ and seek clarity even when the issue is complex, which is often the case. We realize that answers are never black and white, but often shades of eggshell and heather grey, or is it gray? Global citizens try to treat the problems and not just the symptoms. The work we do may not always be appreciated and the changes may not come overnight, but we relish in the mess and the seemingly impossible. We plan and aim for success against all measures and expectations.
What to do about it: Engage with people. Start a non-profit. Volunteer at a local charity. Help does not need to come with dollar signs, time is just as valuable.
|3| You are the Life of the Party.
Our energy is contagious. Our energy is inspiring. Global citizens have a light that cannot be dimmed. We listen to and respect other people’s points of view which attract people to us. We harbor a belief that sharing experiences, especially the raw, nitty gritty details, can inspire positive change. We realize that although we’re not unique, we adhere to what we value and exemplify those values in which we cling to dearly. And that, my friend, is what fascinates people.
What to do about it: Share your message with others by speaking to churches, schools, or other organizations within your community. Become a freelance writer. Write a blog. Tell your story.
|4| You have Compassion for People.
As global citizens, we realize that the world is so large, and we’re so small, but still have the ability to show compassion despite borders (literal and metaphorical). For some, helping others is more than a philanthropic venture. Compassion is a difficult trait to learn, but when given the opportunity we embrace the discomfort to foster understanding.
What to do about it: Partake in random acts of kindness. Foster a child or family. Spend time with someone of a different background than yourself.
|5| You have an Overall Positive Outlook on Situations.
We don’t see the world as it is, instead, we see the world as we are. But, we are not naïve. Global citizens look for the best within the worse and realize there is always another perspective or another pair of shoes to walk in. So what do we do? We lace up another man’s pair and get moving. We’re trailblazers and realize the truth is in the journey. We’re never stagnant and always evolving.
What to do about it: Become a mentor or a tutor. Volunteer.
This post is part of Blogging Abroad’s 2017 New Years Blog Challenge, week one: Global Citizenship.