Global citizenship requires international awareness

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When it comes to world affairs, it  can be easy to stand still and ignore the rest of the planet when it seems irrelevant to us. However, in reality the fact is that there are a number of things that make international affairs relevant to us as people, and particularly to us as Christians at a globally-minded Christian university.

It is for this purpose that I present to you a few reasons why keeping up to speed on international affairs is important, and why, particularly as Christians and Americans, it is critical that we educate ourselves on the news related to the peoples who live in other nations.

ω The United States is a political entity, and political entities, particularly democratic nations, are affected by international affairs militarily,  federally and locally.

It might seem distant to our individual lives, but understanding the state of the world is important because it affects everything about day-to-day living now.

In today’s globalized economy, resources from gasoline to the fruit in local markets are affected by the state of affairs in nations all over the world.

Maintaining good relationships between countries and regions is critical to maintaining the quality of life Americans are used to. Poor relationships between nations cannot only lead to rising costs for resources but, in extreme cases, acts of violence and even full-fledged wars, which brings us to our next point.

ω Because the United States is a democratic nation, its citizens are given the right to vote, and voters must be educated on the issues they are voting on to have a legitimate impact on the decisions made with their consent.

An awareness of international affairs is important for the average citizen because in the United States, citizens have the right to vote. Once an understanding of issues is reached, citizens can use their votes to, at the very least, officially voice their opinions regarding the direction their nation should go.

At the end of the day, whether the decisions you voted on are in your favor or not, you have made an educated decision based on facts and legitimate realities rather than pulling a decision out from a hat, or even worse, not making a decision about the issue at all.

ω The state of human affairs in the international community, particularly for Christians, is a concern because it challenges us to consider other human beings our equals and to fight for other people’s rights.

Political news is important, but more important than politics are the human beings who live and die in other parts of the world without resources or the ability to defend themselves from preventable troubles.

While opinions on how to deal with international human rights struggles and violations differ, no one can argue that these issues should stay hidden from view – particularly people like us, with a faith-based, or even morally or ethically based, worldview.

International affairs are important to keep up on because there can be no discussion for helping other people when we do not even know who the people are or what they might actually need. Without learning about the need, we are blindly attempting to solve and address it.

Despite how hard it can seem to keep up on news worldwide, it is imperative that students like us, future voters, leaders and decision-makers, pay attention to the state of affairs worldwide. If we can make time for  an article BuzzFeed, or time to scroll down our Facebook timelines, we can certainly find ways to integrate the news that affects millions and even billions of people into our daily lives.

About Joanna Andrews

Online Features Editor

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