Global Citizenship to the Forefront
There are many words that I think of as “buzz words” around my own university’s campus. These are words that are often said and discussed, but not necessarily applied to daily life in a tangible way. One of the words that comes to mind most easily is global citizenship. I have often wondered what this word means to me and to all those who are considered global citizens, which would be everyone.
In my first week at the International Summer School here in Oslo, and during the week prior to this in Lillehammer, I have truly begun to grasp the idea of global citizenship and have seen it played out in front of me. Never before have I had the opportunity to share meals and conversations with people from 96 different countries everyday—bringing to light the many ways that we are uniquely different and incredibly similar, all at the same time.
While reflecting on this newly realized meaning of global citizenship, I have been reminded of a statement made by Chief Albert Luthuli in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1961, calling all people to join together to work for peace. “May the day come soon, when the peoples of the world will rouse themselves, and together effectively stamp out any threat to peace, in whatever quarter of the world it may be found. When that day comes, there shall be peace on earth and goodwill between men.” Not only have I been reminded of the importance of global citizenship by Luthuli’s speech and by the many people that have found a common place with here at ISS, but I have also been reminded of this idea as I learn more about Norway. Though this may be a small country in the grand scheme, there is a common feeling of contributing to the greater good, of being part of something bigger than our national borders. In what has been less than two weeks here in Norway, Norwegians, Luthuli, and my peers have become an inspiration to me to put my global citizenship into action.