The Need for Global Citizenship


Much of the world is now connected by a web of electronic communication and instant information. In the twenty-first century, our global economy has made nations and their people even more dependent upon one another. In ancient times, trade between nations was not necessary. Today, it is impossible to remain isolated, so if nations do not have mutual respect, problems are bound to arise.

Although there are grave signs of trouble between poorer and richer nations, and between poorer and richer groups within nations, these economic rifts can be healed by a stronger sense of global interdependence and responsibility. The people of one nation must consider the people of other nations and those within their own nation to be like brothers and sisters who deserve the right to progress freely.

Despite the best efforts of world leaders, crises keep erupting. Wars kill innocent people; the elderly and children die continuously. Many soldiers who are fighting are not there by their own initiative; real suffering is experienced by these innocent soldiers, which is very sad. The sale of weapons—thousands and thousands of types of arms and ammunition—by manufacturers in big countries fuels the violence, but more dangerous than guns or bombs are hatred, lack of compassion, and lack of respect for the rights of others. As long as hatred dwells in the human mind, real peace is impossible.

HH The 14th Dalai Lama

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