The Importance of Global Citizenship

In the educational system, global education has taken on a significant position. The majority of people are born into today’s globalized world. As a result, issues like global citizenship have gotten a lot of attention due to the many advantages that come with it. It enables young people to learn the requisite skills, advance their academic knowledge, and be highly competent in their professions, among other things (Cesario, 2017; Jacobs & Monfils, 2010). As a result, in this article, I will discuss the advantages of becoming a global citizen. I’ll also discuss why there have been debates over what constitutes a global citizen and why results such as social justice and valuing diversity are imperative in being a global citizen. I will also provide two personal examples that illustrate how global citizenship has advanced based on the two outcomes, and analysis on how two educational courses impacted me to be a global citizen.
Benefits of being a Global Citizen
The video ‘Globalization: what is happening to us?’ demonstrates that in today’s technological world, global citizenship is essential to most youths in helping them gain the necessary skills to compete in the job market and get the significant academic knowledge to advance in their future careers. In that case, apart from helping me gain important professional skills, it also enhances my social life. This is because, through the modern technology, most of us can interact remotely with friends, families and business partners across the globe; thus share ideas (Jacobs & Monfils, 2010). Moreover, the global citizenship concept helps in promoting diversity; therefore, enables me to deal holistically with different people without discrimination. Moreover, with regard to attainment of academic goals, global citizenship assists in forging peaceful, just, inclusive, and tolerant environments where it is easy to interact with peers online and share relevant academic information. It is also possible to research online and get the required information and learn about other people’s culture. The video reveals that political and technological regulations cannot be able to achieve sustainability without the help of global citizenship since it transforms ways in which we act and think (Jacobs & Monfils, 2010).
Definition of Global Citizenship and disagreement between theorists
Global citizenship has varying definitions that seem to utilize similar verbiage. In their article, Reysen and Katzarska-Miller (2013) argue that there is immense confusion with regard to global citizenship. This controversy emanates from various theorists who draw their interpretation from different views and disciplines such as education, politics, and theology. The authors assert that it is possible for a specific theorist to hold that certain traits are related to the concept of global citizenship while others feel there is no relation.
I would define global citizenship as a situation in which people that act and think globally come together to ensure that there is cultural diverseness, sense of responsibility, social justice, sustainability, mutual deference, equality, tolerance, and understanding.
Two Outcomes and why they are Important in becoming a Global Citizen
Reysen and Katzarska-Miller (2013) affirm that the main outcomes of being a global citizen include valuing of diversity, intergroup empathy, environmental sustainability, level of one’s responsibility, intergroup helping, and social justice. Among the six outcomes, the two most significant ones are social justice and valuing diversity.
Valuing Diversity
According to Reysen and Katzarska-Miller (2013), valuing diversity entails appreciating diverse global cultures. This entails having a clear understanding that every person is unique and has their differences. In that case, various races, religions, and ethnicities across the globe make up the diversity concept. However, the manner in which they embrace and appreciate their differences as well as learn from them is what helps them to value their diverseness. In that case, valuing diversity is paramount than others since it helps people to value multiple perspectives and appreciate other people across the globe; hence, live harmoniously and enjoy the benefits of globalization. It also emphasizes on the ideology that global citizenship nurtures individual and global respect, encouraging people to think in a critical and rational manner with regard to issues such equitability, justice among others that result to peace. Moreover, one can communicate or interact with people coming from varied cultures; hence, co-exist peacefully.
Social Justice
Social justice entails attitudes relating to equitable treatment, fairness, and human rights (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). A deep look at social justice makes me reflect on diversity and ways in which respect and tolerance come into being. It is evident that this is an important concept in becoming a global citizen. This is because it enhances fairness, considering that what happens to one person is also supposed to happen to others. Although every race, religion, and the ethnic community has their specified values as well as beliefs, this should not deter them from treating each person equally and in a humane manner.
Two personal Examples/ Events
There are two instances that helped me in appreciating the abovementioned outcomes.
First Example (Valuing Diversity)
According to Fryer and Loury (2013), valuing diversity is paramount in guaranteeing togetherness. My individual touch with this ideology is when I joined a volleyball team in 2015. The group comprised of youths from our church and at some point, we were required to travel to Kenya and compete with others from Africa and the Middle East regions. At first, playing and interacting with players from different races and ethnicity proved to be difficult. However, within one week, it became easy once I learned that I needed to embrace and appreciate their differences. We ended up learning some of the local languages and how people greet each other for instance in Maasai language. We also shared ideas and made friends whom I constantly interact with.
Second Example (Social Justice)
Social justice entails making sure that people live in a dignified manner without being discriminated against. It also entails making sure there are just and fair relations within a society (Banks, 2004). For instance, I once visited a community in Saudi Arabia where women were denied a chance to seek employment, based on their gender. It was believed that a woman was a weaker sex and her only role was to cook and take care of the children. I held a seminar and invited the members of the community to teach them about the benefits of empowering women and allowing them a chance to go to school and gain employment. Although some men were reluctant at first, they realized it is important and started supporting them to seek for employment, even outside the country. As a result, they would interact with others, share ideas, and offer solutions to global problems; hence, promoting equality.
Two Courses
There are various courses that have influenced me into being a global citizen. For instance, a course in international affairs has helped me in understanding some of the challenges that people across the globe face and ways in which I can develop rational solutions as a global citizen. This is an important course that I would recommend to others who are already global citizens and those intending to be. Moreover, general education course has helped me to acquire the values, skills, and attitudes that are necessary for one to thrive in a diverse environment. As a result, I have gained better knowledge on ways I am supposed to cope and live with other different people. It has also helped me to be more accommodating to other people’s different perspectives; therefore, ensuring fairness and harmonious co-existence.
Global citizenship is indeed important in promoting equality, sustainability, and fairness. It helps people interact and share ideas, gain relevant information, and enhance their social as well as professional skills. Social justice and valuing of diversity are important in making it possible for one to be a global citizen. This is because they promote the idea of equality and embracing each other. In that case, various courses such as those in international affairs and general education are imperative for those earning to be global citizens since they increase awareness of the benefits involved and issues involved in this concept.
Banks, JA. (2004). Teaching for social justice, diversity, and citizenship in a global world. The Education Forum, 68 (4), 296-305.
Cesario, S. (2017). What does it mean to be a global citizen? Nursing for Women’s Health, 21 (1), 59-63.
Fryer, RG., & Loury, G. (2013). Valuing diversity. Journal of Political Economy, 121 (4).
Jakobs, W. (Director), & Monfils, M. (Producer). (2010). Globalization: What is happening to us?-LUX great thinkers series[Video file]. Retrieved from
Reysen, S., & Katzarska-Miller, I. (2013). A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and outcomes. International Journal of Psychology, 48 (5), 858-870. doi:10.1080/00207594.2012.701749

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