Part II (Read Part I here)
World citizenship is about acceptance of “the other” as if the other is related to us—as if the other is us but just separated by a different physical body, different experiences, and different education. World citizenship can help us create a “we and we” (or simply “we”) mentality (rather than an “us versus them” mentality). World citizenship can help us to meet people where they are, to listen and become aware of distinct voices and values, and to appreciate those distinctions even if the temptation is to automatically reject those distinctions.
Peace activist Azeezah Kanji says that we need to establish a “paraversal” community, meaning that uni-versal may not take into account all voices and values. “Universal” might drown out or dilute our individuality. We need a community that incorporates as well as transcends all diverse voices. We need an intersectional and parasectional community.
World citizenship brings people together to share their unique voices in developing solutions to global problems. Coming together as world citizens is not only about averting future crises; it is also about mitigating the crises we already face and perhaps finding a new sustainable path. Social, economic, political, ecological, local, and global peace require us to use all the tools we have and that we can imagine. World citizenship is about imagining, creating, and educating about a world system that can work for all.
Peace Insistence through Education
World citizenship engages change within and outside of individuals and institutions, within local spaces and within the world space. Change toward peaceful coexistence is dependent upon individuals as well as the institutions they develop having a world citizenship education and mentality.
How we educate youth and offer continuing education to adults will dramatically impact whether we will be successful in creating an ethical local and world community. Education is fundamental to all change, growth, and opening our minds to alternative perspectives. By sharing world citizenship ideas, people will become aware of the world and people beyond themselves, their family, friends, and local community.
Everyone already is a world citizen by birth and in fact, but putting into action world citizenship as an ethical framework or system for human interaction requires education and training, just like conflict resolution and collaborative development do. World citizenship is about opening people’s minds to the world as one web of life, providing the tools to help foster empathy and conflict resolutions skills internally and externally, at all levels of human interaction and within the individual human. Being a world citizen is about recognizing our link to, and having empathy for, our fellow humans and the earth. That means that we must nurture skills of living indigenously with all other beings and with our parent earth.
World citizenship and world governmental structures are meant to help us learn about and work together on issues that are more efficiently and effectively handled at the world level—issues that impact the entire earth and all of its inhabitants. Local governments will still govern locally and indigenously.
The tool of world citizen government provides a process of positive interaction of, by, and for the individuals of the world. As a world citizen, you do not give up any lower level allegiance or commitment. You do not give up your individuality. You affirm a commitment to yourself, to other individuals, to humanity, and to the earth—a commitment to learning how to live together sustainably, a commitment to insist on peace.
Each of us has the right, the power and the duty to commit to peace insistence.
*My definition of Peace Insistence: The individual and the community consciously and consistently engage the tools, skills, strategies and tactics of loving, empathetic self-perception and interaction through non-violent methods, harmonious engagement, sharing, learning and teaching peace, and rights-affirming activism. The process requires affirming to yourself and to those around you that you will choose to think and act peaceably, that you will seek out education to learn the skills of peaceful interaction, and that you will seek self-healing and offer support to everyone in the healing process.
Peace insistence may also contain elements of non-violent action, civil resistance, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, renunciation, withdrawal, civil and political disruption, legal advocacy, mediation, arbitration, non-conformity, individual and group intervention, economic boycott, strike, divestment, positive investment, protest, momentum-building, strategic organizing, long term planning, collaborative development, artistic, musical, scientific, mathematic, ethical, and comedic expression, indigenous creativity, training in peaceful communication, individual and group therapy, and the hundreds of other actions, processes and initiatives that maintain peaceful relationships as an ultimate goal. (See Gene Sharp’s list of “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.”)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.