My country is the world, and my religion is to do good

Just sat in a beautiful walled garden looking out of a blue door on to the sea. A slightly over cast day, with a light wind gusting across the sea.  Just having my first coffee and thinking about the day ahead.

Last night we had a great bbq on the beach with a large bonfire to take off the evening chill.  There was a high tide and glorious sunset. 

The conversation came back around to being a global citizen and the need to do something for others rather than just one’s self.

At what stage does one understand how to be a global citizen? What does one have to do to be able to say that they are carrying out actions that are those of a global citizen.  What actually is global citizenship.  A definition is as follows:

 Global citizenship applies the whole world to bring world peace and the concept of citizenship to a global level and is strongly connected with the concepts of globalization and cosmopolitanism. World citizenship is a related term which can be distinguished from global citizenship, although some may merge the two concepts. Various ideas about what a global citizen is exist.[1][2] Global citizenship can be defined as a moral and ethical disposition which can guide the understanding of individuals or groups of local and global contexts, and remind them of their relative responsibilities within various communities. The term was used by U.S. President Obama in 2008 in a speech in Berlin.[3][4]

According to some accounts, citizenship is motivated by local interests (love of family, communal fairness, self-interest), global interests (a sense of universal equality), and concern for fellow human beings, human rights and human dignity. The key tenets of global citizenship include respect for any and all fellow global citizens, regardless of race, religion or creed and give rise to a universal sympathy beyond the barriers of nationality. These sentiments were initially summarized by the British author, pamphleteer and revolutionary Thomas Paine[5][6] in Rights of Man:

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. [7]  

When translated into participatory action, global citizenship entails a responsibility to reduce international inequality (both social and economic), to refrain from action which compromises an individuals’ well-being, and avoids contributing to environmental degradation.

Within the educational system, the concept of global citizenship education (GCE) is at times beginning to supersede movements such as multicultural education, peace education, human rights education and international education. Additionally, GCE rapidly incorporates references to the aforementioned movements. The concept of global citizenship has been linked with awards offered for helping humanity.[8]

In international relations, global citizenship can refer to states’ responsibility to act with the awareness that the world is a global community, by recognizing and fulfilling its obligations towards the global world, as well as the rights of global citizens. For example, states can choose to recognize the right to freedom of movement. Global citizenship is related to the international relations theory of idealism, which holds that states should include a level of moral goodwill in their foreign policy decisions.

I think everyone would agree that the desire to achieve the above would be wonderful but what do we do about to bring this about as individual or as part of an organisation (is it just a concept for do-gooders or do we leave it to the state to do these things)? 

My own belief is that education still must be at the forefront of any global citizenship programme and that change must come from within whether that is people or states. It is why my own desire to start an academy for people of all ages to improve their understanding of their own capabilities, thier communication and technical skills and then take those capabilities to assist others is a vision I have very clearly in my mind and something I will pursue over the next few years.

This brings me onto having a hunger to do something.  I was training the other day and felt a little flat.  I am preparing for a tough couple of months training with an international sports team and need to be at a better level of physical performance than I currently am.  I arrived at the gym without a clear plan or intent of what I wanted to do, I was just going through the motions. I therefore performed badly and actually left the gym after 30 mins because I couldn’t shake off the malaise I felt.  The next morning I reassessed what I needed to do and why I wanted to do it.   To have the hunger to do something is so important as it maintains your focus and gives you the inspiration to do it and to push oneself harder.  HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU TO REALLY ACHIEVE WHAT YOU WANT. ARE YOU PREPARED TO SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST?

Have a look at the quick guide below that I use when starting a project and the words I use.

Vision, Mission and Objectives for?

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan but also believe.”[1]

Vision:

To dominate international ……. and produce a constant stream of World Class players/people for the/////

Mission:

To consistently win Cups, bilateral Series and win contracts for

Objectives:

  1. To establish selection protocols and processes which identify players/people capable of becoming the best in the world
  2. To optimise Players/People through the provision of the world’s best science & medicine services, leadership and development programmes
  3. To ensure a ruthless attention o detail in preparing players/people to become ‘World’s best
  4. To establish a competitive schedule which establishes an appropriate balance between preparation, practice, exercising and testing to achieve the highest standards in the sporting commercial arena.
  5. To recruit and develop a Management/leadership Team which is able to support and challenge people/players to become the World’s best
  6. To establish efficient and effective operational processes to ensure the successful delivery of the programme

I played a game of darts last night after the BBQ and a few beers (I have now recovered from last friday night and although I promised I would never ever drink again, I now can) with over 30 people involved. The handicapped system is designed so that even the most proficient darts players do not necessarily win.  A small boy and an adult were the last two left and the small boy had the advantage and asked the adult to score below 25 with three darts. The adult failed to get the score and the little boy won. However had he scored under 25 he would have had the option to ask the small boy of 11 to score under his score.  Would he have had the hunger to win or allow social etiquette to give the boy a better chance by asking him to score higher? Would it be best for the boy to win on his own merits or be assisted in winning?  A nice moral dilemma to finish the evening, what would I have done?

My mother never let us win at anything when we were small, my father would have let us win and did so on many occasions much to the annoyance of my mother. Her philosophy was that you should earn things on merit and you must learn to deal with adversity as it makes you stronger.   What would you have done and why?


[1] Anatole France, writer

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