How do you define “world citizen”?

These days, to me, it seems like the world keeps getting smaller, and the impact we, as individuals, can have on it, keeps getting bigger.

The inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are regularly shared in countless memes via social media, with a big spike in shares happening on Martin Luther King Day.

The amazing efforts of Lassana Bathily, the Malian Muslim employee who recently helped save the lives of several customers at a kosher supermarket in Paris will never be forgotten.

The 2014 Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

The artisan jewelry and gifts made by women artists in more than 20 impoverished countries across the globe can now be purchased by anyone online at Global Girlfriend. By selling these wares, the online retailer seeks to help reduce poverty and to create prosperity for women, families, and communities.

The tennis star, Roger Federer, “shouted at himself in all three languages he speaks” during a recent Australian Open match, “trying to rouse a response from whatever part of him houses his tennis greatness,” according to The New York Times.

The percentage of Americans who hold valid passports is currently at about 46 percent, according to The Expeditioner.

The students at my sons’ international school in Chicago are expected to “master” three to four languages upon graduation from the preschool – high school institution.

Yes, the world is getting smaller as we continue to connect with other people virtually and “in real life,” travel to different cities and countries, feel our actions reverberate across the world, see our experiences amplified via social media, live among an ever increasing diverse group of people, and learn and experience more and more.

Personally, I am excited about just how interconnected our world is now – and just how much more it may be when today’s children grow into tomorrow’s adults.

But, I know that we just can’t expect our children to barrel down and across our interconnected world. They need to absorb it. They need to experience it. They need to appreciate it. They need to understand it. And, they need to embrace it.

And, to do so, they need to become “world citizens” – something they can do with the help of their parents, their teachers, their friends, their family, and members of their communities.

But, what exactly is a “world citizen?”

To me, a “world citizen” is someone who has a firm grasp of the breadth, depth and true diversity of the world around them, and strives to seize any and all available opportunities to make a true impact on the global community.

No matter if you travel the world or have never boarded an airplane, there are so many simple, easily accessible and completely doable ways to learn about diverse people, places and cultures; speak multiple languages (or just learn a few phrases); support and come to the aid of those in need; and feel comfortable with, and confident in, your place in the world. And, proudly be a “world citizen.”

But, that’s just my definition.

In the true spirit of being a world citizen, I asked some of my friends and fellow bloggers from around the world to share their own “world citizen” definitions with me as well.

Definitions of a “world citizen” from bloggers located across the globe:

How do you define “world citizen?” Are you working to raise world citizens? Please share your definitions, tips and experiences in the comments below.

RELATED POST: 6 simple ways to raise world citizens.

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