I’m often struck by how much lip service we pay to the so-called “global village,” yet how increasingly isolated and insular our lives are becoming. So what would it mean – beyond the cliches, beyond the catch phrases? What would it mean to really, truly, live globally?
In my office at our synagogue, I have a framed poster on my wall that says “How to Build Global Community,” then lists a long series of action components – a sort of of “Global Torah.” (The poster was created by the Syracuse Cultural Workers – a great publisher of peace and justice resources). Facing me on the wall just to the left of my desk, it offers me a regular daily challenge to really walk the walk:
– Think of no one as “them.”
– Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety.
– Talk to strangers
– Imagine other cultures through their poetry and novels.
– Listen to music you don’t understand.
– Dance to it.
– Act locally.
– Notice the workings of power and privilege in your culture.
– Question consumption.
– Know how your lettuce and coffee are grown: wake up and smell the exploitation.
– Look for fair trade and union labels.
– Help build economies from the bottom up.
– Acquire few needs.
– Learn a second (or third) language.
– Visit people, places and cultures – not tourist attractions.
– Learn people’s history.
– Re-define progress.
– Know physical and political geography.
– Play games from other cultures.
– Watch films with subtitles.
– Know your heritage.
– Honor everyone’s holidays.
– Look at the moon and imagine someone else, somewhere else, looking at it too.
– Read the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
– Understand the global economy in terms of people, land and water.
– Know where your bank banks.
– Never believe you have a right to anyone else’s resources.
– Refuse to wear corporate logos – defy corporate domination.
– Question military/corporate connections.
– Don’t confuse money with wealth or time with money.
– Have a pen/email pal.
– Honor indigenous cultures.
– Judge governance by how well it meets all people’s needs.
– Eat adventurously
– Enjoy vegetables, grains and beans in your diet.
– Choose curiosity over certainty.
– Know where your water comes from and where your wastes go.
– Pledge allegiance to the earth – question nationalism.
– Think South, Central and North – there are many Americans.
– Assume many others share your dreams.
– Know that no one is silent though many are not heard.
– Work to change this.