For someone like me, who is yet to have their first international experience, it would be hard to even relate to the idea of being a world citizen.
I should rather first think about resolving the problems my own nation faces, right?
What role does the world have to play in my journey anyway? All these countries are so distant and I might not even end up visiting all of them, at least in this lifetime.
But well, interestingly, once I delved into knowing more about who a world citizen actually is, I could gain more perspective about the issues I face personally.
World citizens are people who believe in the idea of peace and wish to spread more of it by their actions.
The only difference is that they don’t restrict their community to a city, state or nation, but take it beyond- to the humankind.
World citizens are leaders since they don’t just serve their purpose, but also of those around them. They go global because they don’t believe in the segregating ideologies of casteism, colorism, racism, nationalism etc. They’ll treat the people with diverse global backgrounds with equal love as to their natives. Everyone across the world is a friend to them.
And it was then that I realized how much lack of knowledge and information can confine our mindsets and the way we look at people.
I needn’t necessarily be a traveler to be a world citizen, and with that in mind, I find it my responsibility to reach out and spread the info I could gain.
Becoming a citizen of the world is vital, here’s why:
1. Communicate the reality
For a moment, think about how do you find your country? Do you like it?
We all love it for the cultural diversity, the people, the places, the languages. We always have something new to discover, even if we stay at the same place for years. But at the same time, we despair when it comes to discussing politics, and how we might or not like how our current leaders are taking it ahead.
And this worry often overpowers what we like about our nation. The news is enough to create the resentments.
But guess what? What we think is what we communicate to the world.
Basically, someone from the other country might think of us differently until they know us. Likewise for us to know them. They might have unrealistic perceptions about us.
World citizens break this barrier by becoming aware of global issues, empathising or even by lending a helping hand if they can.
2. Bringing global learning to the nation
Once we cross the cultural barriers and get to know natives of different countries and their way of living, we know if certain aspects can be adapted in our own nation.
For example, a friend I made who came for her exchange to India taught me the table manners followed in her country. The purpose was beyond learning the etiquette, it was to adopt discipline, patience, and gratitude – something I needed to grasp.
Also, the more international friends you make, the more languages you might get to unleash! If not perfectly, certain nuances of the dialect or tone they speak make you understand how they think and imbibe their culture.
3. Challenge ignorance and embrace sustainability
The more information we carry, the easier it is for us to form opinions.
Being opinionated is crucial since they define our individuality and give us the strength to voice ourselves.
Just like, once you know about a disease is when you attempt to know their symptoms and solutions, similar is the relevance of global knowledge for worldly issues. If we’re aware, responsible and willing to care, we become less ignorant about things that matter and become likely to adopt a sustainable life.
United Nations has laid down 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the universal call-to-action to global issues. These are thoughtfully decided to give us a direction on how as true citizens, we can change the map of the global concerns that are increasing rapidly.
Being a world citizen is a serious responsibility, especially of the youth, to unleash our potential to collectively serve the world.
If this interested you, you can take up volunteer opportunities to become a global citizen.
Read more: 5 Ways You Can Make A Difference
Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s travelling!