Going Global

Advances in technology provide us with many of the conveniences we have today. Smartphones, tablets, flights spanning the globe, and social media. We have access to the Internet at our fingertips and the ability to connect to anyone, anywhere, in a moment’s notice. It has changed the world as we know it, but still many people don’t understand their place in this new world. We are living in a global world and we have a responsibility to be a global citizen.

A global citizen is defined as someone who is aware of the wider world, takes responsibility for their actions, respects and values diversity, and is willing to act to make the world a better place (OXFAM). Anyone is capable of becoming a global citizen. It starts with moving out of our comfort zone and embracing what makes us different. Whether its race, gender, or nationality, we have to be willing to open ourselves to new experiences, embrace other cultures, and respect the differences. We must also be willing to lend help to those in need.

A common way of helping others, in a global sense, is through humanitarian aid. Monetary donations, volunteering our time, or donating clothing, food, etc. are all forms of supporting a humanitarian aid organization. There are various organizations that can use these items in order to provide aid on a global level. The United Nations (UN) and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) are just a couple of examples of global humanitarian aid organizations.

While it goes without saying that any form of support for humanitarian aid has its benefits, we must also consider the consequences as well. War Games, In the Eyes of Others, and Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures are a few books that can provide insight into such consequences and the repercussions of those decisions. Each of these books offers a glimpse into what aid workers see in the field. War Games deals with aid in war zones or conflict areas, In the Eyes of Others with the perception of MSF among the aid scene, and Emergency Sex follows the lives of three UN aid workers through the 1990’s. These books are not meant to demean, condemn, or disinterest people from providing support for humanitarian aid organizations. They are eye-opening reminders that, as global citizens, we have to take responsibility for our actions. With the advance in technology, we have the access to make informed decisions before blindly supporting an organization or a cause that might not have been available in the past.

Humanitarian aid and being a global citizen can go hand in hand. However, being a global citizen doesn’t just entail being a humanitarian or vice versa. Technology has led to us to the world we know today and as it continues to advance, the more in touch with the rest of the world we will need to be. The decision is whether we choose to reject or accept the global world and become a global citizen and find where we bELONg in this new world.

Works Cited:

Abu-Sada, Caroline, ed. In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid. N.p.: MSF-USA, 2012. Print.

Cain, Kenneth, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson. Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth. New York: Hyperion, 2004. Print.

Globalzerochannel, . The World Must Stand Together. 2013. Video. YouTubeWeb. 20 Jun 2013. .

“Humanitarian Affairs.” United Nations. United Nations. Web. 20 Jun 2013. .

. Médecins Sans Frontières. Médecins Sans Frontières. Web. 20 Jun 2013. .

Polman, Linda, and Liz Waters. War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern times. London: Penguin, 2011. Print.

SincerelyChrisandKim, . Its a Global World. 2013. Video. YouTubeWeb. 20 Jun 2013. .

“What is Global Citizenship.” OXFAM. OXFAM. Web. 20 Jun 2013. .

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