BECOMING A GLOBAL CITIZEN

Citizen of the World

A person who is at home in any country.

I first heard this phrase from one of the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. It sounded so cosmopolitan I couldn’t take my mind off it.

“Today’s the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grown up. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my job. Today, I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can’t wait.” -Grey’s Anatomy

As a humanist, I feel like I need to have a sense of responsibility to the human community as a whole. Not that I want to reshape each nation in my own image but I want to immerse myself in different cultures & understand them. You can achieve understanding without agreeing to it. I did my some research on the this. The phrase was coined by the Greek Philosopher Diogenes of Sinope. When asked where he came from, he said “I am a citizen of the cosmos”. Some suggests Socrates precedes Diogenes as the first thinker to regard himself as a world citizen. When asked where he came from, he didn’t say “Athens” but said “the world/cosmos.” Thereby, embracing the universe as his city because it’s much bigger than the world.

What I aspire is to have multicultural tastes or values who would feel at home anywhere. What I can envision is a world where we treat others as fellow citizens, co- inhabitants, with the fact that we all belong to the cosmos as fellow humans. It may appear anti-nationalism to you because of its emphasis on cosmic citizenship rather than national citizenship but one should not limit himself to one geographical area but extend it to a larger community. Cosmopolitanism does not necessarily have to be in opposition against nationalism because it’s hard to capture the complexity of human reality and the spirit of cosmopolitanism.

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