Calling oneself a global citizen is a very bold statement. It entails an ever-evolving attitude towards exploring, examining, and helping to enact positive change in the world. A global citizen is a listener, communicator, and even somewhat of an investigator. An investigator by trying to get to the bottom of world problems and talking to people on the ground in the area where an issue exists. Slimbach states, “Global learning that serves the common good faces the world as it is and declares, “This is unacceptable-the despair, the dispossession, the exploitation, the contempt for human dignity-there must be another way.”(Slimbach 72) Global learning has to seek to unearth the layers behind every problem that faces the world. The news will attempt to uncover the reasons based on a few expert opinions, but global citizens will not take this for fact.
I have recently read the book Freakonomics, by Steve Levitt, an untraditional economist whose career and novel focuses not on traditional economic theory, but using statistics to draw insight into the real reasons behind pertinent issues in the USA. These include education, crime, and parenting. Levitt uses statistical analysis to get to the core of the topics mentioned.
As a business major looking to get into the technology field, I have learned how organizations are utilizing the power of information in order to make decisions and solve problems within their company. Levitt was only able to draw his conclusions because studies were taken and information was gathered. If the information gathered is false or skewed, then so are his conclusions. Yet, gathering information is how to solve a problem. From imprisoning a drug lord to beating an opposing soccer team, information is key. Global citizens are individuals who, when in a location, gather real information and spread it however possible. This is the best way to bring about change.
The quote I chose was, “I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”-Charles de Lint, author. I resonate with this quote a lot, but the last five words are what I wish to make happen. Global citizens help to unearth and gather information about the problems that exist in the countries where they travel.
I was able to say bye to almost all of my hallmates during one of my last nights in Barcelona. We went to my favorite discoteca where we have always been the only Americans in the building. It was a great night with the best music that I have heard across Europe. I was sure to thank everyone for being good friends in helping me practice Spanish, telling where to eat and drink, and making sure I did not miss any parts of the city.
My emotions about leaving Barcelona were highly impacted by the fact that I did not return home directly after my program. By my mother’s grace I was able to travel to Australia to visit one of my best friends, and am currently visiting another in New Zealand. It was extremely bittersweet to leave Barcelona, where I had formed many relationships and grown to love the city. Barcelona is a special place where life is always enjoyed in the presence of others. I will miss interacting with locals in their language the most. It was always enlightening to learn about locals regardless of which language we used. The travel log where I interviewed a Spaniard was easily my favorite and probably where the most learning occurred. However, it must be stated that I cannot take my findings as fact as a person’s views are heavily swayed by their parenting and where in the country they were raised.