World-Mindedness

 

 

 

We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world’s people share the benefits of globalization.
Kofi Annan

I read the phrase “world-mindedness in a children’s book a few years back. It has always stayed with me. I like it.

It’s the attitude that I have always been attracted to- this approach to life that our planet is actually a village and we share this village with our neighbors. We know who our neighbors are, their dreams, and their struggles.  We know where they live and how they live.  It’s an attitude that I have worked hard to instill in my daughters. 

 We cannot ignore the reality of both inter connectedness and interdependence in the world today. Sitting in your home or in your car as you read this I want you to know one thing-you have a profound effect on other nations as well as the world. When people with strong purchasing power-I am talking to you dear reader-increase demands for cheap textiles, electronics, or tropical hardwood floors somewhere across the planet the lives of farmers, miners, service providers are affected. World-mindedness helps me think of those service providers and farmers as my neighbors. It starts as global awareness then it grows…..

How do you know if you are world-minded?

World-Minded people…..

Have a map of the world in their heads…literally.  They do not need everyone to be an all-star jeopardy winner but they are drawn to people who have a foundation for discussions about other nations and regions, countries and cultures.  I have maps all over the place… in my office, my home. They help me plan my next adventure and explore the world more easily. They help me see that local issues have global connections.

Connect learning with doing.  Having a map is the first step, understanding a map and the history behind it is critical.  Border skirmishes, wars, migration patterns, colonization, and natural resources, disasters- all these things are what help to make maps living and breathing.  World-minded people understand the role that history plays in finding solutions to modern day problems.  Opportunities for civic engagement is increased as they see more opportunities to participate.

Help people identify what they do not know. They love to ask questions. They understand that there are no easy, pretty answers to life’s most pressing social issues. They help others in their personal circle connect the dots between their cheap goods and modern day slavery. They share knowledge. They are advocates and ambassadors.  They are passionate about their personal quest for answers. They care how others perceive their home nation.

Encourage world- minded thinking in others. They use “us” to mean people beyond their own race, ethnicity, neighborhood or nation. They see beyond  xenophobia, they understand the power of diversity and listening to others. They see the importance of creating  space for new voices, new leadership.  They understand that not everything different is bad, boring, bizarre, dangerous or evil. All nations and languages are equally respected.

 How will power be wielded in the future? Who will run our governments, craft policy, teach our children, and start new businesses?

I am not sure. I just have one wish.  That these folks working hard in their  local communities will be smart and creative is a given, but  I pray that they will understand the importance of “world-mindedness” and the importance it plays in making informed decisions in this globally connected world.

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