When we learn about human rights and responsibilities, we learn a term called citizenship — joining a community and political realm which requires rights and duties in a limited and mutual relationship. And as a citizen of a state, we are all closely interconnected, and we are expected to care about the people within the community. Global citizenship is a similar concept.

Margaret Brigham identifies global citizenship as a way of seeing social justice and equity, understanding other people’s reality, diversity, inter-connectedness, and how individuals can make a difference.

We live in an increasingly interdependent world, where our actions are likely to impact others’ lives across the globe. Supply and demand for crops, products made in factories, and technology are not limited to one country but are all connected to other parts of the world. Non-Profit Organizations like SHAPE are not limited to one country but have an open opportunity for everyone worldwide, showing how globalized this world has become. We are all active members of this world, which makes us global citizens.

The world faces challenges including pluralism, sustainable development, environmental issues, human rights crises, and health problems; they are not just sporadic events that happen somewhere far away. They are concerns that we are inextricably linked to.

When I was a little child, it was confusing to see all those tragedies broadcast on TV. The world in the TV box was full of tragedies, natural disasters, human rights violations, inequality, hostility… and the world I lived in was peaceful as if it was another world since I had freedom of speech; I didn’t feel at much of a disadvantage because of my gender, and when I encountered a problem, I could overcome the situation fairly easily. However, being lucky in the birth lottery does not mean that I can abandon the duties of a responsible global citizen.

I am just one of the many people around the world. If we can only gather our voices together and fight against injustice in the world, we would make a difference.

Soomin Yoo

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