Isn’t it frustrating to only live once?
A lot of exquisite spirits to meet and deep stories to hear. A lot of fabulous places to go and cultures to get inspired from. A lot to read about the world and to discover about yourself. A lot to receive and a lot to give to your community. Life is a journey in which you have the energy and the power to open doors toward your aspirations and dreams. Have you opened them? Have you given yourself the opportunity to make the most of this life before it’s too late? If I could only hear from you but at the same time, I want to provoke your thinking by asking you this question: Why am I here? And what is left to be done in my life?
Personally, it took me a while to realize a very simple answer to all questions I raised. It is Global Citizenship as an identity I embrace. My identity is my motive to wake up every morning aspiring for a better version of myself and the world. With an eye-opening perspective on the world, I have a very meaningful purpose to live, change, and grow. It frustrates me sometimes that time slips away for the things that haven’t been done, for the opportunities we missed, for the stories we haven’t heard yet, for the humanity we want to instill, the wars we want to end, the equality we want to establish, and for the peace, we want to settle. Global citizenship is an identity that has expanded my scope of how I see the world now. Then, shall we embrace global citizenship as an identity?
‘ I am a Global Citizen ‘ has become my answer to whoever asks me ‘ Tell me more about yourself and where are you from? ‘ with extreme excitement to explain what does it means to me, the sameway I am writing this personal account to the world. Just because it is not possible to have such an identity legally, the idea itself unfolds a lot of meanings in different contexts: the concept can be understood through buying and selling if you eat Sushi from Japan and watch television that was made in Germany for example.
First and foremost, I believe that global citizenship gives to our origins, our nationalities, and our local identities a wider meaning in the global community. As an Afro- Amazigh Morocco-Tunisian young woman who aspires to cross the borders and embrace God’s lands, the melting pot of languages, cultures, histories, cousins, and stories trigger me to share them with the world. Thus, global citizenship is more than a limited geographical location to redefine it as a sense of belonging to every corner on the map. It is much deeper than that to transcend the geographical and even the political and the geographical borders to a more humane sphere. It gives more validation to our freedom in the sense we open up ourselves to discovery, dialogue, and change. I have the thirst to travel the world for the sake of the people and what they have created as civilizations and languages. I want to go, see and hear the untold stories in the rest of the African countries and change the narratives. I want the world to change the narrative about Africa as an exhilarating journey rather than a destination to extract its rich bounty of natural resources and reserves.
I want to visit Egypt to see its pyramids and welcoming people, and Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. I want to travel to Europe and get the train from one country to another, enjoying the landscapes and peoples’ stories because every person has a unique story. I want to cross the border to Germany and read more about history in the 1950s and learn from its greatest philosophers about different aspects of this life. I want to get lost in New York someday. I aspire to see the architecture of every corner in Italy and collect souvenirs alongside with radiating souls. I want to expand my knowledge in languages and dialects from local people but also share mine. I seek to have fruitful dialogues about peace and security ( Okay, basically I may into trouble from time to time. ). Mostly, I want to give and receive with reciprocal subjectivity based on human values and principles.
It is insufficient to put everything into lines, but the world is where I belong to and everyone is whom I have an alliance with.
Thus, global citizenship begins with an acknowledgment of the ones and the interconnectedness of this earth’s nations with respect to intercultural diversity and human dignity within a constantly evolving global ethic.
Second, I believe that global citizenship is more than traveling to other countries and make the most of every opportunity but also leaving a trace in every corner you go, a trace of change and impact no matter how big or small your contributions were. We as global citizens need to be fully aware and to fully understand the wider world because we aspire to work together as a vital force , to cooperate in an inclusive way, and share the same vision of a better world. Global citizenship is an opportunity to expand your values about human rights and your impact within your community to the world. Global citizens seek to expand the scope of peace, dignity, and security throughout the globe through various vehicles including advocacy, writing, traveling and reporting, volunteering, and even storytelling.
Because I believe that global citizenship transcends territorial borders, it also transcends the borders from reaching minorities who have been denied to give their voice and become global citizens themselves, from decreasing any aspect of discrimination and coercion, racism, phobias, and violence. It transcends the origin,skin color, religion, beliefs, orientations, gender, and any external aspect that would bring exclusion but union and solidarity.
Accordingly, you can feel from people. You can feel what anyone can suffer from whether it’s the state power, women’s rights, child abuse, or even human trafficking. We joined the black lives matter Movement in the USA and because of our identity as global citizens, we expressed that in our countries despite the borders, we feel the urge to stand for lives and support the human beings around us who suffer from racism and discrimination every single day. Global citizenship builds the bridges to foster peace and security, to make design and amplify our voices around the globe, to remain curious about our environment, human culture and the principles that unify us.
Michelle Bachelet (President of Chile) said it in her speech for the Seventy-First Session of the General Assembly. 21 September 2016 when she acknowledged that “The idea of global citizenship goes back a long way, but in its current iteration it played its most significant role in the process that began with the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, continuing with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement in 2015…In this way, both the Charter of the United Nations and the preamble of the Universal Declaration represent the beginning of the “… recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”, which are today our minimum standards in the international arena, and which is the foundation for today’s global citizenship. “
Admittedly, I am excited and optimismistic as a global citizen and a citizen journalist to amplify voices, advocate for peace and solidarity, and tell stories that haven’t been told. I know there is too much to be done, but imagine how can we make the connections that open the world to possibilities we haven’t thought about before together. Imagine global citizens as a vital force to make this planet a better place for ourselves and future generations. Imagine how capable we will be to report, to tell, to share, and to inspire. Imagine the adventure life will get you through and the exposure to different settings will shape the way you see things around you. Just imagine, the amount of liberation and freedom you will get after these little reflections. Imagine meeting myself and tell my stories when I have done all this path and the upcoming journeys we may embark on together in the future?
By then, it won’t be frustrating to only live once.
Michelle Bachelet. Speech for the Seventy-First Session of the General Assembly. 21 September
2016 quoted from the UN Website ( https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/global-citizenship-new and-vital-force )