The goal of this assignment is to situate yourself as an individual globally and identify the global forces (economic, social, political, and cultural) that have influenced your life, political consciousness, resources, opportunities, career choices, political perspective and social indentity; as well as ways in which you as an individual play a role in global politicl life, and how if at all this impacts your ubderstanding of your role in the world.
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This would be a very long answer, but I would say that one of the greater influences on my life has been capitalism. While I dislike many aspects of this economic system, American capitalism taught me that I am a master of my fate, that education gives one a huge advantage, and that there is opportunity almost everywhere to make the most of.
Add to that the internet as a global cultural and social influence. I have more connection now to others around the world, have received education through the internet and now make a portion of my living on the net as well.
I think I have been greatly influenced by the cultural diversity with which I grew up. I grew up in a middle class area of Long Island, NY and went to school with other students of many different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. It didn't occur to me until much later in life that this is not the case for everyone. I never assumed that everyone grew up in a house like mine, because I knew far too many people who didn't. I now live in an area that has almost no cultural diversity and the students are unaware that life in other places is any different than their own. They are much more likely to think that things are always black and white because they have not been presented with alternatives, like I was.
I would like to disagree with Access in that family is all and none of our lives have been or are being influenced by what happens around the globe.
The subject of the thread is how our lives are changed and shaped by things happening around the World. I think with each passing day, the importance of global events just seems to be growing larger.
I'm half the world away from the US. A couple of decades back, nothing happening in the US would have affected me. Today, one bank goes down in the US, half my savings vanish; I'm practically unemployed; and a large number of my dreams that were just going to come true are shattered.
It could be said that none of us are the creations of Facebook and Twitter but the global inter-connections that are growing exponentially larger each day are playing a large role in most, if not all, of our lives.
Personally, I watch the news daily--twice a day--and read at least three newspapers to be up to date on world news. This is a bone of contention for my husband as he would rather not know. However, by understanding what is happening elsewhere in the world, we can predict possible outcomes for food prices, gas and oil, travel plans, etc. which effects us all.
I have taught overseas, and without that experience, I would not be the person I am today. Learning about other cultures, people, religions, value systems, etc. we get closer to a world with less violence and governments who are more easily able put themselves in other shoes and perhaps reach compromises that please all parties.
I would disagree with other editors in believing that my biggest influence has been my family in my life. For me, to be brought up in a Christian family and to follow "good" values and morals has been the biggest single impacting aspect of my life, that has shaped who I am today and the kind of work that I am involved in. Of course the internet does impact us, but it is nothing compared to the role of the family in who we become.
I think that the Internet has had the greatest impact on me. Through the web, I talk to people that are thousands of miles away in entirely different countries and cultures. I have bought and sold on the web, and I exchange ideas on the web through e-mail and places like enotes. I am no longer surprised when I have conversations with people in places I have never heard of. I think it's an amazing thing.
There is a lot going on in this question.
One of the biggest "global forces" that has influenced my life is the idea that social security may not be around any more when I am of retirement age. My father began teaching me about finances when I was pretty young, and I began my investment in a Roth IRA when I had my first "real" job at 20.
Now, as I look at my retired parents and in-laws, and their respective financial situations, I am consciously considering what I can do at each "season" of my life to continue to secure things for my own children and grandchildren. For example, I look at the the different things that could be considered "investments" that might not necessarily be directly monetary (such as education). I am more conscious now of government spending, and how that might affect me (and my children) in the future.
As far as how this affects my "role in the world," I'm sad to admit that it has made me slightly more selfish. I have the attitude that I need to "help myself" because I cannot trust that someone else will one day be able to help me. On the other hand, I also hope to be in a position to one day help others. The current economy has honestly caused me (and my husband) to make drastic career changes and drastic financial/savings changes.
For me, globalization is the force that has most affected my life. If it were not for globalization, I might not exist.
One aspect of the early stages of globalization was imperialism. The US and other countries tried to take control of less developed areas in an effort to give them (the colonizers) more military and economic power across the whole globe. This force affected me because it led to US control of the Philippines, where my father's ancestors were then living.
After WWII, my father (a Filipino native) came to the US on scholarship to do graduate work in agriculture. This came about because the US was trying to help improve the lives of people in foreign countries like the Philippines. While here, he met my mother and they married. Without globalization, this would not have happened.
The family later moved to Micronesia, again because the US government was trying to help people in less-developed countries. That meant I grew up in what was essentially a Third World country. That experience led me to a deeper understanding of the problems that are faced by people in such countries and has affected my political perspectives.
So globalization has done a lot to affect me -- it has, at least, impacted my political perspectives and may even have caused my life as I know it to exist.
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