Sunday, June 8, 2014

To be a Global Citizen

To be a global citizen I feel like you would have to travel around your nation and the world to grasp the different cultures in different areas, you cannot simply read about it in books and see the pictures. When you go somewhere you've never been before you begin to study the people; their motions, their words, how they live, everything. The smallest weirdest stuff would grab my attention while in London, things I never would have imagined being different in another part of the world. The way the doors open is opposite of those in America, weird right? Being a global citizen means engaging in the current events of the world, to continue to keep up on the politics, to know what is going on globally. Of course growing up you learn small things here and there about different countries and parts of the world, but until you get to immerse yourself in the culture, you will never understand the lifestyle of those people. The way the land is shaped, how they build their houses, how advanced are they in the world, are they a large importer or exporter, do we trade with them? All common questions that are answered when developing your "citizenship" into the world. I will never say that one must be an expert to be a culturally sound person, but one must study the past, present, and future of the world and its many different places and large population to begin to understand why the world works the way it does. Why are all people different? No one will even be able to open their eyes and minds to others if they do not learn about who they are and why they do certain things. And without respect for others and their differences from oneself the world will continue to become this place of growing war and violence. People say they are global citizens because they watch the news and gather all the negative facts about another nation or place, and I will not defend those who have done wrong, but not every nation has a 100% population of horrible people. Global citizenship, in my eyes, is defined as when a person finally opens their mind and accepts the differences of others in an area after studying and dealing with it personally. They may not agree with the difference, but they  respect that person or those people for their choices and culture.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Unexplainable Experience

Coming home with such new and excited experiences I have come to realize that hardly anyone truly understands what I saw and did. Outside of my family when people ask, I start with oh it was amazing! and that is about where they stop listening. Many people do not understand how the legal system works over there compared to ours, even when I attempt to explain it. It has slowly dawned on me that unless someone gets to experience something like this themselves, they will never appreciate or understand how much it has changed me. While over there I felt like I was able to pick up the culture very easily. Some of their customs were completely crazy to what I am use to in the states, but blending in was not too extremely difficult (minus the fact I could never get my money out and my credit card was clearly American!) In this giant city of 6 million people it was my responsibility to take care of myself. To do so, you had to learn the city quickly and quietly or people began to judge you. The classes we had to prepare for our trip did make a small step for us, but you had to have the want to learn the city and the culture. It was amazing to watch the way people lived their lives. The culture within the criminal justice system was so different as well. Much more different than I thought it was going to be. Every part of their system seems softer than what we have here. The different events we attended and the sights we saw made me a better person, a more open minded person, and a more cultural person. I am so blessed to have been able to attend this trip and learn the incredible amounts of information that I did while in London. I would not give up my cultural gains for the world.