Educating people on global citizenship has become increasingly important in today’s society. “As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, exposure to global cultures affords individuals opportunities to develop global identities.” (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2012, p. 858) The importance of properly educating others on global citizenship is that it will lead to a world where people will be equal and receive better justice. Furthermore, global citizenship education would lead human rights being available to everyone. While the global citizen may become more anonymous in a globalized society, it is that same globalized society that allows for interaction between different groups. (Studio12TV, 2012) Thus, the globalized society allows for different individuals to get to know each other on a personal level. The outcome of global citizenship, as they pertain to my identity development, have been positive. One main influence on my development was my environment. My environment helped me to strengthen my intergroup empathy, understand why diversity is to be valued, and view social justice in a different way. Moreover, I come to understand the importance of environmental sustainability and intergroup helping as well as the level of responsibility needed to act for the betterment of this world.
Living in a mixed society allowed me to understand people from different backgrounds and different groups. I learned rather early to have empathy with many of social issues they have. My intergroup empathy was based upon countless conversations I had and a lot of research I had conducted. From hearing the viewpoints of those who are having issues or suffering, I was better able to understand their situation and understand why an issue affected a particular group in a certain way. With intergroup empathy, it is important to see events from another person’s point of view which is why diversity is very valuable.
My intergroup empathy was shaped by living in a diverse society. Diversity is very valuable for understanding the global society both as a whole and on an individual level. I grew up with people from many different racial groups. My environment allowed me to develop an understanding of different cultures and how those culture has helped to shape the country we live in today. Early in my life I had seen how necessary diversity was for the advancement and social participation of everyone around me. Even more so, diversity tends to be highly valuable when it comes to social justice. From intergroup empathy and valuing diversity came an understanding of social justice. In more recent times, there has been much social injustice aimed at particular groups such as the homosexuals, African-Americans, and women. My diverse environment influenced my understanding of many of these social issues. Frequently, social injustices stem from misunderstanding, the lack of diversity, and the lack of intergroup empathy between groups of people. In order to gain social justice for those who have been wrong, I learned that communities need to understand each other's similarity as well as their differences. Global citizenship is not just about the interaction between humans but between humans and the environment as well.
My identity has been shaped by environmental sustainability because I was taught that I should take only what I needed from society and not to be wasteful. Environmental sustainability is important to the global citizenship because it allows humans to have all our needs met. In return, many of the resources will be left available for future generations. In order to successful, intergroup helping, I learned that I needed to be comfortable with diversity. My environment influenced my understanding of the need to have some level of responsibility for my actions.
The level of responsibility needed for someone to act according to the betterment or needs of the world all depends on how a person sees his or herself in a global society. I have found that my responsibility level was simply to learn from others how to best use the resources around me so that the future generation would be to have some natural resources for themselves. The outcome of being a global citizen with regards to the level of responsibility and how it developed my identity was all positive. It continues to impact my life even today.
Attending a university is one example in my life that illustrate the development of global citizenship based on the outcomes previously discussed. According to Hye-Kyeong Pae, “In order to function well in the worldwide culture, it is imperative that students develop a global perspective or global awareness as to how other cultures function in the world.” (Pae, 2003, p. 139) When I arrived on campus, I was met with a lot of diversity. I formed new connections and was able to learn more about other people from different region of the world. In doing so, I developed a wider intergroup empathy that includes those people who had come from war-torn countries. I understood the value that the diversity on campus represents for the future of many students. People were learning how to understand foreign cultures. Such readiness to learn met in the future bonds, both personally and professionally, would be more globalized than in the past. By gaining more information about certain situations that affects others, I was able to understand the reason a particular social justice was needed in other communities. Forming an intergroup that helps each other in so many ways, many of the students began to understand that they had a reasonability to both the present and the future to better societies in their community as well as globally. We discussed issues such as war and environmental problems. We agreed that it was up to us to not only try to make the world more environmentally sustainable but to teach the future generation why such issues are important. Another example of my life that illustrate the development of global citizenship based on the outcomes previously discussed would be work.
Working with the general public, I was able to meet a lot of people from many different backgrounds. Speaking to both customers and colleagues about issues they may have within their lives and in their communities helped me to increase my intergroup empathy. Someone I worked with was having problems with the "stop and frisk" policy in the past. As he went into details about this issue he went through, I began to understand his point of view and why the police were wrong for targeting innocent people. We live in a diverse country that has become a great value to us on a global scale. However, as my identity develops and continues to evolve with each contact with different people, I realize that social justice has become very important in everyone's daily lives. A diverse society needs laws that reflect its diversity. Furthermore, groups that are not the focus of such laws tend have their criminal activities overlooked. When people of various backgrounds understand that they have a responsibility to the advancement and betterment of the entire world, we, as global citizens, can move forward with issues such as environmental sustainability and social justice. My general education courses have helped me to become a better global citizen because it gives a different side to old arguments that many people have been trying to overcome. Moreover, the general education courses give a very good guideline as to how to become a global citizen also to my life’s experiences.
As people become more adjusted to being global citizens, many changes will happen. People will start to develop intergroup empathy and place more value on diversity. As various intergroups begin to help each other, issues such as social justice and environmental sustainability will become less of a problem. The reason for the drop in such issues would be intergroup helping and providing different viewpoints on how to tackle such issues at the present as well as for future generations. Since different groups of people have a different level of responsibility to society, acting together as a whole would better this world for everyone.
Pae, H. (2003). Chapter nine: Global education from an ecological perspective: To become a global citizen. Counterpoints, 218, 139-161. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42978157
Reysen, S., & Katzarska-Miller, I. (2012). A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and outcomes. International Journal of Psychology, 48(5), 858-70. doi:10.1080/00207594.2012.701749
Studio12TV. (2012, January 3). Global Education and Global Citizenship [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/XXzRHbISFW0