What are Global Citizens and How Are They Changing the World?

When I was growing up in the American South, we took pride in our regional slogan… American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.  For those of you who may not be familiar with the slogan, which appears on hats, bumper stickers, T-Shirts, etc., it may not be too meaningful.  Basically, it was our way of saying that you were born American by accident, basically, but God blessed you by putting you in the South.  At TEDxRamallah, one of the presenters (I think it was a TED video) talked about how young people today are more likely to self-select as global citizens than Americans.  On this site, the paper abstract references the fact that 69% of American self-select as global citizens.

Call me out of touch, but I find it pretty hard to believe.  But if true, I wonder what those numbers look like in the South.  In Alabama, as a youth, we were first Southern, then American, then anything else.  I had classmates with classic Italian names, French names, everything and never had any idea.  It was interesting how we were all Southern first.  The globe, the rest of the world, was a very far off place.  So how, then, has the trend toward globalization affected Alabama?  Last summer, when we were in the US, the small town we were in had no view of the rest of the world.  They were 30 minutes from anywhere and anywhere wasn’t even a big town… I can’t see people there identifying themselves as global citizens.  In New York, sure, Chicago, absolutely.  But in small town Alabama, I seriously doubt it.

It is an interesting idea though.  The Beans are definitely global citizens.  They’ve lived in the US and in Jordan.  They consider both home.  They learn about countries around the world and their impact on them.  They definitely don’t view the world as a one-dimensional place where they grow up and live all of their lives.  So how will that impact how they relate tot he world?  What will being a global citizen mean to the concepts of nationalism and local pride?  It will be interesting to see how this new generation feels about their home country (ies).

Any younger folks out there have thoughts on this?  We old fogies find this new world hard to relate to.  How do you see yourself?  What is your citizenship?  Are you a global citizen? If so, what does that mean to your relationship with your home state?

Happy Globalization!

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10 thoughts on “What are Global Citizens and How Are They Changing the World?

  1. Correction: I am as YOUNG as you are. And you, my friend, are a beautiful young woman!

    (I don’t know why age has been such a sensitive topic for me lately. I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.)

  2. It’s interesting that you bring this up. I would consider myself a global citizen, I’m both an American and Jordanian Citizen and consider both my home as I have lived in both places. I am also of Palestinian, Irish and Slavic heritage…So, I think I am loyal to the world and what is right and fair. I try not to be blinded by the idea that loyalty = blind patriotism or try not to at least!

  3. Wintersamar, thanks for chiming in. It’s interesting to see that you think of yourself as a global citizen. I don’t generally think, at all, that loyalty equals blind patriotism. The mere idea of that is UnAmerican ;). So, I don’t think those ideas are mutually exclusive, but it’s a fresh idea that you would see yourself more as a citizen of the world than either the US or Jordan. I’d love to hear more about that!

    • The reason I say that is because I have seen so many people that have a problem with questioning the US, and find it offensive when someone does. Like questioning the wars that are currently taking place.

      I don’t see myself as a citizen of either Jordan or the US is because I don’t feel like I fit in, in either place. I am not completely “Jordanian” nor am I completely “American” I am just a hodge pog of different places and ideas. I don’t completely identify with the typical American or Jordanian…I guess that is why I think of myself as a more citizen of the world.

      • Winter, makes sense. Clearly, as you’ll know if you read my blog often, I have no problem whatsoever questioning the US and its actions. It believe it to be the duty of every patriotic American. Going to war around the world makes no sense and makes America no safer. Sigh.

        Thanks for helping me understand your viewpoint a bit better. I don’t know if it’s generational, but I claim both rather than a third… ;).

      • War makes no one safer, but sadly, that is what people think.

        I could claim both, but people tell me I am too American or too Arab…So, I’m just a Muslim, American, Arab from Jordan with a Syrian Accent. How? I don’t know!

      • I agree totally with you on war. The idea that war brings peace is insane…

        I live that you find a way to make sense of you identity, even if it doesn’t fit into anyone else’s boxes. You go girl!

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