I've noticed a certain trend in my behavior as of late. It seems to me that I am more attracted to the world news section of the paper than the comics. I seem to be educating myself in the greater happenings of the world. This is what I like to refer to as "becoming a global citizen."

To the Greeks, a citizen had certain obligations to fulfill. It was required of him to be well informed as to the nature and workings of his state. The citizen must also be fully aware of the current events which serve to shape his world. Finaly, the ideal citizen must actively take part in the political world around him, bringing change to where he sees need.

I am not sure how close I am to becoming a true citizen of the world; there are several proponents of this view, as well as several facts that serve to counter it.

To begin, I have immersed myself in foreign affairs and world happenings. Each morning, I make an effort to read the world news section of the paper. I've learned many valuable facts, ranging from conflicts on NATO over the use of depleted uranium to the trial (getting there) of Pinochet. In making an effort to maintain knowledge of current events, I find myself one step closer to global citizenship.

On another note, I have gotten involved with the Model United Nations at my high school, TJHSST. This has really given me insight into the how and the why of global manueverings. I have been to conferences, debating on committees ranging from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to the UN Disarmament and Security Committee. I have represented countries as small as Namibia and as large as the United States. Through my MUN experiences, I've learned why countries do things the way they do. I've learned about International Bodies, like the UN, EU, LAS, OAS, APS, and many others. (I do, in fact, know what all those acronyms mean :) I have learned the positions of numerous countries on sundry topics ranging from the transfer of arms technology to the disrimination against the Roma of the Czech Republic. Oh, and, yes, I've had loads of fun.

Now, it may seem that I've fully come into this global citizenship thing. However, there are a few points which prove I'm still on the path, rather than at my goal.

Firstly, I have not traveled very much. My exposure to the world has been limited to the interior of my country, the United States. I feel that an integral step of becoming a global citizen is the experience of the world itself. Hopefully, all of this will be remedied soon. My passport is being processed at the time of this writing, and I will be touring Europe over the summer.

Another part of being a citizen is the ability to interact with your fellow lobal citizens. Currently, I know one language fluently. I speak English. I am able to speak French at about 60% efficiency. I feel that it is very important, in being a citizen of the world, to not fit into the image of the arrogant American, speaking only English and assuming everyone else should too. Until I am able to speak another language well, I cannot truly claim my world citizenship.

Finaly, there is the matter of participating globally. I am still a teenager, so it's bit soon for taking a role in the developments in the world. Maybe as I grow, I'll look away from computers once in a while to take an active role in getting something done. Perhaps this would be protesting, lobbying, or even representing the United States in an international body. Who can really know?

So, as you can see, I've made a few solid steps on the path of becoming a global citizen, but there is still a way to go. This is a sincere goal of mine, as I personally can not let myself sit in apathy and ignorance while the world progresses around me.

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