Three Minds On Global Citizens Essay, Research Paper
Three Minds on Global Citizenship
The mission of Chapman University is to provide education that leads to interested, ethical, and productive lives as global citizens. Globalization has become a catch phrase for the increasing integration of the world economy. Some of the many problems we are faced with today are polluted air and toxic wastes, deforestation in the Amazon, global warming and the hole in the ozone layer will affect all of us. The awareness of the world around you is a gift only the unwise among you may neglect. Donald Will stresses the importance of global awareness to the modern student. Fred Smoller emphasizes participation as essential to democracy. Paul Apodaca critically states the tension around global citizenship. Will, Smoller, and Apodaca have different styles and beliefs towards global citizenship and go into further detail with the subject.
Donald S. Will begins his concept with the title of his piece, Get Global or Get Left Behind! A major reason for knowing more about the cultures, events, and people around the globe is that they are part of us. An interesting fact mentioned in Will s excerpt is that Southern California is one of the most diverse regions in the country and we live here. It is wrong not to take action when others around us are surrounded by famine, genocide or natural disasters. We as global citizens should not stand and see the humanity of others get crushed because our own human race will too be overtaken. Will clearly states in his opinions, A global citizen is a person who develops an awareness of world affairs, who has acquired the critical thinking skills to analyze such events, and who can evaluate the ethical dimensions of complex issues-possibly leading to actions designed to make the world a better place. While going further into depth with Will s concept of global citizenship, he zeroes in on some of the initial causes in the past. The white population descending from European settlers sought to deny Africans citizenship. White people laid claim to vast mineral wealth and around eighty-seven percent of the land. Africans were forcibly relocated into reservations and also had mass starvation because of segregation. Eventually, United Nations condemned the apartheid system both for its violations of human rights and the fact it posed a threat to world peace.
Moving on now, Will takes a concerning look at the present. In Vietnam, Nike provides labor costs of just four dollars and ninety cents for producing a pair of one hundred and fifty dollar shoes. Workers there receive one dollar and sixty cents for an eight-hour working day. The estimate of a living wage for one individual there run about three dollars per day. Critics point out that Nike could double its wages for the 25,000 Vietnamese workers for just two percents of the five hundred and sixty million dollars it spends on advertising. Similar actions have been pointed out at Disney for paying thirty cents an hour to workers in Haiti. Will puts this insanity into a bold statement by saying, If our values do not extend beyond ourselves, we are essentially selfish. Like it or not we are all part of a global community. Thee is hope if we work together with our fellow global citizens to form a just and peaceful world.
In contrast with Will s title, Fred Smoller puts his concept of global citizenship as Citizenship in the 21st Century. Rather than looking back at the past, Smoller wants to focus on the present, the now . Smoller uses the form of an outline or even categorizes his key points of global citizenship. Some of the problems mentioned are voting, the government, and participation of the citizen. Going into further detail, the voter turnout: America has the lowest voter turnout of any industrialized nation. Only around fifty-five percent of the eligible voters actually vote. Another problem is that nobody trusts our government, which is not good at all. The third problem is the participation of the U.S. citizens. People are being forced to work longer hours, resulting in less available community involvement, long ballots make the voters disinterested, and candidates are more involved with their victory rather than encouraging all of the people to participate.
While zeroing in on global citizenship, take a quick glance at when the U.S. began. The changes taking place in the world today are similar to those that took place in our nation at the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Just as the citizens of the thirteen colonies had to see themselves as the members of a new society-the United States of America-so, too, do we need to see ourselves as global citizens. Here are some interesting facts that are given by Smoller to show how versatile the U.S. is today. White people now make up for less than half of California s total population. In Orange County, the non-whites will make up fifty percent of the population by 2020. And by 2050, the same will be true for the United States as a whole. It is a new world that people are living in and now, as global citizens, we need to make this new world a better place for everyone to live in.
Smoller wants people to get involved, just as do Will and Apodaca, and as global citizens Smoller says we should take action by asking ourselves such questions as: How we can influence events in far-off places like Bosnia or China? What is global citizenship? Smoller confidently states, That it is someone who sees himself or herself as a member of the global community, someone who is capable of seeing the challenges we face from a global perspective. Global citizens have the knowledge, skills and especially the desire to bring about a more just and compassionate world.
The third author, Paul Apodaca, also has a different title for his opinion and it is Regarding Global Citizenship. Apodaca describes global citizenship as a matrix with three major topics of the text-human rights, global economy and the environment. Apodaca begins his opinions with some key questions to ask oneself before learning about true global citizenship. Who gets to decide changes in the languages of differing people? Do people have a choice whether or not they wish to use the language or adopt the ideas? Does global citizenry mean joining into a new social structure? What is ethnocentrism and why is it an important issue? To answer the last question, ethnocentrism is having race as a central interest or feeling that one s group is superior. An essential part or statement brought up is that ethnocentrism will not assist us in becoming what we are striving for, global citizens. Apodaca s definition of global citizenship is, It should be embraced as a call for informed tolerance and a willingness to support the efforts of people to gorge their own futures. The quest for freedom and liberty are enhanced by the presence of informed individuals. An understanding of the continuing struggle for political, social, and cultural freedom is our best insurance of an unbound future.
It is very difficult to cover all aspects of global citizenship and the problems all of us are faced with, but these three authors did a tremendous job trying to do so. Will talks mainly about the apartheid with South Africa and labor cruelty to other countries: Haiti and Vietnam. Smoller goes more into depth with the U.S. nation and problems: voting, government, and participation. There were a numerous amount of great points, but there is still an assortment of topics not mentioned. Apodaca conclusively expresses his feelings about global citizenship with questions to ask yourself and to open your mind and not be ethnocentric, which is a key subject in being global. To pull everything into my own definition, Global citizenship is one of many things, but it is mainly to be interested in other problems as if they were your own. Global citizenship is to be open-minded and rather than hoping for a solution, try to help and hope to find a solution yourself. Do not forget, everybody needs help in some form or another, lend a hand and make this world a better place for all of us.
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