What do you think a global citizen needs to know, do and think?What do you think a global citizen needs to know, do and think?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You will get many different answers on this, so be prepared to assess and critically analyze different notions of the good.  I will identify several examples of global citizen needs.  There will be some items that I will deliberately leave out, in the hopes that others will pick up where I leave off.  (Enotes gives a finite amount of space within which to write, so collaboration becomes critical.)

*The ever expanding, yet shrinking world- I think a global citizen needs to be embracing of this idea.  On face value, it is contradictory, but upon further analysis, it is quite convergent.  The proliferation of information technology and social networking opportunities has increased the reach of the global citizen to any part of the globe.  Yet, by the same token, this same ability has made the world smaller and demanding of more understanding of it.  Today, people call customer service and they are actually calling two continents from where they are located.  Enotes, itself, fields question and answers to and from remote parts of the world.  It seems to me the days of believing in an isolationist and withdrawn notion of the world is difficult, if impossible.  Instead, the global citizen has to understand that the world is ever expanding, and intimately shrinking at the same time.  This requires a sense of community, tolerance, acceptance, and social understanding to emerge.

* Filtering... not just for spam- Given this wide understanding of information overload, the global citizen has to know how to decipher and filter through the information provided.  The challenge today is not finding the facts, but rather making sense of it.  Search engines have transformed the internet into something where anything (I do mean anything) can be found. The challenge for the global citizen is understanding how to filter through all the information out there in understanding the essence of what is needed.  This sense of being able to assess and validify essential concepts can also be transmitted to being a socially informed global citizen.  The challenge is not getting the news.  Traditional and non traditional news sources can transmit information quite lucidly.  The challenge for the global citizen is being able to filter out bias and political agenda manipulation into carving out the relevant information from that which is not. With so much out there, in so many ways, one cannot afford to be naive in allowing everything to count.  Some "filtering" capacity is needed.

*  Listening to the cries' of others' suffering- No more than now must a global citizen possess the need of empathy, placing their own sense of reality within another person's frame of reference.  Our world is becoming more and more cosmopolitan, and in the process, we are being confronted with more issues that directly concern all of us. The spread of diseases such as AIDS, environmental concerns, even abstract issues such as rights, are being appreciated on a global scale.  When the H1N1 virus spreads, it becomes pandemic, and all nations have to share information as to how they are combatting it.  Gaining a stronger sense of empathy and compassion is something that will permit greater opportunities for success, as we begin to understand that the elements (social and political) that used to separate and differentiate us are being supplanted by elements that are bringing us closer.  Empathy is the only thread shared when a teen in Alberta, Canada can "twitter" a teen in Tehran.

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Global citizens, as we all are, should make it our business to use the vast wealth of information that is literally at our fingertips, i.e. the computer keyboard, and learn about what's going on in the world.  We live in an era when one does not need financial resources in order to travel; while the "real thing," i.e. getting on a plane and going to a new location is always preferable, and certainly more fun, we can all travel the world through the Internet, kind of a modernized cyber version of the "armchair traveler."  When one can type a few strokes, hit enter, and be in Monet's gardens, for example, or taking a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we have no longer any excuse to be ignorant of other cultures, other traditions, and those things that are part of the human experience of all of us. 

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A global citizen needs to be aware of world religions, history, and cultural traditions to be able to understand the conflicts and international relationships today.  I like how #2 used the world empathy, that is something more politicians and world leaders need to have in order to work together as peaceful nations and power hungry countries.  We as a people need to focus our energy on the aid we can provide one another, and by doing that we build a supportive world network.  The best ideal we can follow as a nation and as a people is "Pay it Forward"...I think its brilliant.  We give to others and in return we can be supported when we need it. 

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to developing understanding of other cultures and empathy for other people and their problems, a global citizen needs to recognize the similarities that bind all people together and to not only understand, but to respect cultural differences, respect in the sense of developing an appreciation of the cultural traditions of others. Global citizens should share knowledge and work cooperatively to solve the problems that affect all of us.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A global citizen should be able to speak and read at least one other language than his native tongue. He should be traveled, whether via real-time visits to other areas and countries, or through reading and online media. He should keep current on international headlines. He should be knowledgeable about his own country’s government and how it compares to that of other nations. He should participate fully in civic affairs, including voting.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I am not quite sure what you mean by a global citizen. I interpret it as a person who considers the whole world as his nation not differentiating between people on the basis of nationality, race, religion, and the like.

A person like this will have all the qualities associated with a responsible citizen in any country minus any feeling of superiority dependent on nationality.

epollock | Student

I am not so sure a citizen has to do much nowadays. With a small population, citizens are forced to take on greater responsibility; nowadays, not so much anymore. I know many people that don't read up on current events, don't really care about what's going on, stopped voting, don't know any other language other than English, and are extremely successful in the things they do.