Global Citizen of the 21st Century ~ How To Help Our Kids Become True World Citizen
Once the richest nation on this globe (Bhagavat Gita chapter II, Verse 31, page 246 ~ ‘God Talks to Arjuna ~ Paramahansa Yogananda), now the world’s fastest-growing economy taking us to being the 3rd largest GDP & people Purchasing power (PPP) on the globe in 2019 ~ We are an international hub of entrepreneurs being home to more than 7000 startups striving to make this world a better place to live. We, as Indians feel proud when we look back and realize that our lives today are no longer like the lives, our parents and grandparents had lived.
That been said, it is a concurrent fact that our social and economic milestones post-independence, no matter how self-made, were supported by our international affairs with various developed and developing nations. Being one of the founding pillars of the ‘United Nations’, we are already a vital part of the world body set forth for global peace and development. Factually, Indians account for the world’s largest diaspora population (spread and scattered over a large area), with 16 million people living outside the country whilst being one of the largest employers and shelter to millions of foreign nationals with more than 700,000 (seven hundred thousand) Americans itself. We have globalized at a greater pace in this decade and India is pinned on every MNCs expansion map. Bill & Melinda Gate, in their ‘Shift is happening 2019’, sends a message that in 2028, 34-year-old men and women would rule the World economy and population, in a very p[positive way and bring in spiritual unity to this world as ‘One Global Village’ of peace and harmony.
But, the fact we need to discuss today is India’s conflicting perspective towards various factors of globalization, often bipolar. This phenomenon is often explored as a debate of ‘Nationalism Vs Globalism’. Let’s start with the definitions by Google:
Basically, for ages, ‘Nationalism’ has been identified with a concave view on cultural and patriotic goals of our own nation, whereas ‘Globalism’ has been identified with a convex view on political and economic goals of the world. These views, created due to various atrocities of politics and warfare, have led to a mixed and superficial emotion amongst 21st-century citizens who support any global agenda in the name of modernization without truly understanding the purpose of globalism. The true purpose of globalism, In order for all civilizations to co-exist, should be a combined effort made by all the countries to achieve, not only economic and political but also social and cultural harmony.
Every country is accountable to create a system which helps their civilization understand and cooperate with the cultures and believes of other civilizations ultimately creating a global environment amongst the individual nations. Hence, instead of separating the concepts of globalism and nationalism, we need to change our perspective towards education and dedicate our resources to create world citizens.
But like the old way of education, the rote teachings of worldly knowledge won’t do. In order to truly educate a soul with worldly knowledge, it needs the ‘knowledge of Self’, that is the knowledge of one’s Spiritual Character. To support this theory consider the teachings of Sir Arnold Toynbee, the British historian famous for his 12-volume series ‘A Study of History’, and hundreds of such textual accounts, who was a leading specialist on ‘International Affairs (IA)’. According to an Editor’s Note in an edition of his book, Toynbee saw the growth and decline of civilizations as a spiritual process, writing that “Man achieves civilization, not as a result of superior biological endowment or geographical environment, but as a response to a challenge in a situation of special difficulty which rouses him to make a hitherto unprecedented effort.” (Source: Arnold J. Toynbee Wikipedia)
With prominent historical evidence as such, one can clearly say that for the society to coexistence in harmony, it is important to raise leaders from all walks of life, who are worldly and spiritually educated. Victorious Kidss Educares was established, by adopting the multidimensional curriculum of International Baccalaureate (IB) and unifying it with the spiritual directions from the ancient teachings of Vedanta, to lay the foundations for creating a learning environment which proliferates both global and spiritual learning. The school is aimed at creatively educating the millennials while guiding them with the works of great masters like Swami Vivekananda towards building a good character. This universally acclaimed curriculum of IB includes simple guidelines to achieve the best techniques of inquiry-based teaching and learning which can help the kids develop a genuine curiosity towards problems irrespective of their origin. To give a brief example, the following are some key questions share by the IB which can be discussed with the kids of the Primary Years Program (PYP) in order to help them cultivate a global perspective:
Form: what is it like?
> How are the different countries and continents divided?
> What are the factors differentiating the developing countries from developed countries?
> How are the vital resources divide across various countries?
> What are First World Nations, Second World Nations and Third World Nations?
Function: how does it work?
> How does democracy work?
> What are the distinguishing factors between different democracies?
> What countries are working in alliance or have certain conflicts?
> What are the norms for international travel and residence?
Cause: why is it like this?
> how did the great wars affect world relations?
> What were the consequences faced by various nations?
> What were the various affecting factors i.e. religions/ political and economic imbalance?
> How did it affect different education policies around the world?
Change: how is it changing?
> How are the education systems evolving?
> What are the various treaties and world organizations established for peaceful affairs?
> How has the Green Revolution and the Industrial Revolution affected different economies since?
> What measures are being put forth to improve world relations?
Connection: how is it connected to other things?
> How has the intercommunication of different world cultures and ideas affected social awareness, employment and immigration?
> What lifestyle and changes are been witnessed around the world?
> How has globalization affected philosophy, literature, art and overall education amongst different nations?
Perspective: what are other points of view?
> How do other governments view the changes in this world?
> What are the fortunes/misfortunes faced by different countries which led to their individual perspective?
> Are the established world organizations being fair enough to consider everyone’s perspective?
Responsibility: what is our responsibility?
> What are the current contributions being made from our country towards global development and tranquillity?
> Does our government have enough/fair legal provisions to facilitate foreigners for education/tourism/residence/ spiritual independence/ gender freedom of action?
> Is our education globally aware enough to help the youngsters ask the right questions?
Reflection: How do we know?
> are the current progressions and contributions enough/appropriate? If not, what needs to be added/replaced?
> What fields of education can we choose to contribute to our country’s and the world’s prosperity?
By posing such questions we, as parents and as a school, can help our kids discover the right questions to be asked and come up with their own creative solutions. Essentially, everything that we lack in our lives today boils down to, not just lack of educational progression but also to the lack of attention towards Mental, Physical and Spiritual development.
“What we want are Western Science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya (search for purity & who am I ~ true self) as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha ~ faith in one’s own self ”
This philosophy of VKE, which was originally propagated by Swami Vivekananda, describes the solution which we seek today in our own country. Our kids learn, not just to become good employees and taxpayers, but to also become good creators, contributors and importantly attain ‘human excellence’! Our school teaches, not just to educate the mind but also to educate the mind towards becoming a great ‘Character.’