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What does it mean to be globally aware and why is it important?

In one of of the school programs I attended to last year, I was asked what it means to be globally aware and its importance. The question seemed to be quite easy, but I could not come up with a great answer. Trying to think of the best examples of being globally aware, I was lost.

TED is one of the most global communities out there and I believe it can help me understand the meaning and importance of global awareness.

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    Jul 26 2013: I think it means to understand the differences that exist globally and still embrace the beauty of diversity.
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      Jul 28 2013: Tell me Prince Boadu should that embracement of the 'beauty of diversity' include the female genital mutilation that is prevalent in Ghana and other African countries?

      The stoning of adulterers?
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    Jul 26 2013: Many paleoanthropologists believe (homo sapiens / us) may have dropped to extremely low populations at some point during the last ice age. The shrinking resources caused populations, that were wide spread into smaller, and smaller areas as plants, and animals that feed on them were restricted to smaller areas because of the ice. Massive areas were buried under mile thick layers of ice, driving humans together in competitive interaction, and decreasing numbers of prey animals. We came close to extinction

    A similar trend is occurring today due to overpopulation, shrinking resource availability, competition for space.If people from an early age aren't made to understand the scope of our predicament, we are going to experience a huge die off in relatively near future. There's no two ways about that. We are, as we speak, in the middle of a massive die off of thousands of species of plants, animals, amphibians, birds,reptiles,microorganisms. Even if they aren't completely wiped out, they will fall to such low levels, that the biotic benefit they represent for humans, and the ecosystem they inhabit will lose its affect, with devastating consequences cascading throughout the system.

    My high school geography teacher was a true jewel of a human being, a Rhodes scholar, and peace corp volunteer. He spent a long time in Kenya. Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, back before it became a walk in the park so to speak. He brought us elephant tails, Masai spears, and shields, pictures,and best of all (stories). Teaching, when you break it down, is really about fuses, and learning how to light them. You set off a spark of imagination, and excitement, and "bang", the fire cracker life of a child blows your mind. This is the essence of Global awareness. It is the realization that there is a huge world out there with amazing people who live very different lives. It's then you realize, by their humanization, they become real ,not just pictures in a book "They are us ! "
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    Jul 26 2013: Dear Asan,

    Excellent question. To be globally aware, means to know that my choices and actions for myself, no matter how minor and minimal they might appear to me, impact the lives of others across the globe. It is very much like a "butterfly effect".

    This is really important because by making a choice of staying a consumer who sees value in reusing a glass jar instead of a single-use-plastic product, I can not only reduce the size of our landfills, but also it might save a child's life, by creating a better job opportunity for him/her in a factory in a different country.
  • Aug 4 2013: I watch my cat.
    My cat has global awareness.

    No matter what is on my computer screen, My cat ignores it.
    My cat comes and sits right in front of my keyboard. Then he nudges.
    Then My cat rolls over. Then yawns, -- Big teeth those.

    My cat sleeps on the seat of my easy chair while I type on my computer.
    My cat will sleep as long as I leave him be.
    I chased My cat from my bed, and this is his way of getting even.

    I never feed My cat. I never give him water. He has no place to pee or go.
    My cat is there at my door, whenever I open it. To come and go as he chooses.

    My cat surveys before stepping out my door. My cat is careful and watchful.
    My cat has global awareness.

    It is a small world.
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    Aug 3 2013: I am Chinese and actually 8 months ago I just moved to France with my family. During the last 8 month i suddenly realized all the information we got through media which often mislead people's outlook about the whole world rather than provide a fair and natural view .The truth is our attitude towards another nation often depends on political benefits.Comparing with China, French media has more liberty;however,it is not really better. If the media can not consider the world as a whole, we will never achieve the awareness of global.
    • Aug 4 2013: Dan LIAO VADEE
      There was only a brief kernel of thought about how to respond to your
      very good conversation. I wrote "My cat", in response, while I thought about
      how to write this answer.

      Media seems to have grown into it's very own life form, while it was evolving.
      And now with the event of the computer, and internet, Media may provide a
      way to eliminate "Babble". I do hope so. ..One language.. One Humanity.

      I've noticed that the optimum "Two-Way" Communication has not yet found
      the way to change the character of our One Humanity. It is as though we are
      still blind to what we can become.

      Music has tried, with but limited success. Movies and videos, and video games
      have not displayed much good either.
      ..Bloodshed and violence, both real and imagined.

      It seems Globally, we humans are more like Army Ants.

      I wish I knew the answers.
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        Aug 4 2013: Hi Frank, thank you for your reply.

        As individuals we are so diversified, however; what we learn through NEWS or information people are divided by nations,religion,cultures, politics etc.I agree that is a short-cut to learn this world, but it is absolutely NOT enough. Media has its limitation. I hope internet will perform better. Thanks for TED we can have an easy conversation.

        When I started to learn English as a major in China in 2004,I also learned the "race labels",such as Amercan is honest but violent; British is gentle but lacking of sense of humor;French has good taste of art but arrogent; Chinese is smart and flexible but dishonest and no-religion. I don't know whether you agree with them. For quite long time I was suffering by these marks,until I watch the presentation by Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability, I realized i had "culture shame".
        • Aug 4 2013: Dan,
          From you, a Great Learning Experience for myself.

          "Race labels" is a wonderful way to look upon our cultures.
          We need to understand how we all became as we are in our personal identifications.

          .. I will now - watch the presentation by Brené Brown: "The power of vulnerability",
          I doubt that I will have any "culture shame", my own internal identification is much
          too strong.

          I have noticed that Cultures change by both upwards and downwards fashions.
          With great emphasis upon the word "fashions".

          Ever changing-Principles (Victorian, Family, Maoist), Politics (Dictator, Democratic, Illusionary),
          Corruption (Greed), Music (Expressive, Cadence, Insightful),
          Clothing (Weather, Stylish), Gossip (Media, Spoken),
          Literature (Poetry, Romance, War, Critical Thinking, Puns, Ology*),
          and the list goes on.

          *You get an ology, you're a scientist!"..... ..lol
          ,,,(a small "Joke", I forgot to include above.
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    Jul 30 2013: Is it essential for the average citizen to be globally aware? A necessitity for survival and well-being? I would have to anwser, that in fact, is it not. One could simply live each day within a local frame of mind and not bother with thoughts of yonder and it's mysterious foreign tongues. The going-on's of over there do not necessarily impact the average human, unless it is comes to the front door.

    And yet...

    We do care. As human beings we have the ever-present pester of curiosity tugging our tails; we want to know, and we want ever juicy detail. We can't help ourselves. We are fascinated by the vastly different cultures of the world, delighted by the sounds of new languages and accents. We long to visit strange lands and see beyond the next hill. I have a little game I like to play in bars. I ask folks this question: If money was a non-issue, what would you do? Almost every single time, travel is on the top of the list. So what does global awareness mean? It means to see your fellow human as just that, a fellow human, despite differences in location. It means to recognize Earth as a collective, not a chopped up, border lined land of isolation. It is to appriciate and enjoy the beautiful variety the world offers, and work toward perserving it.

    And the importance?

    Well, ask yourself this. What would this place look like if we only cared or concerned ourselves with our homeland? What if there was no interest in traveling across the ocean ? What if there was no interest in flight, exploration, or discovery? What if, when we looked into the vastness of space, we simply glanced away without second thought?

    To be globally aware is to be spiritually alive.

    It is to be human.
  • Jul 29 2013: Global Awareness from me is the understanding of inter-relationships, independence, individual as well as communal responsibilities.

    I do believe there are two forms of GA, one from the inside out, the other from the outside in.

    The first is from the perspective of the subjectivity of one`s own baseline, that is to say, that what is true for one, is not true for all. This is where the understanding of cultural, economic, health , wellbeing, socio-political and worldview experiences change, but are the assumed baseline of those from within that paradigm. Once we are able to partially unattached ourselves from our own intrinsically development "sense" of the world, we are more readily capable, although desire to is required, to appreciate the differences in life experiences globally and form an opinion on that, slightly less subjectively that previously, but our moral framework`s influence to a large extent remaining so and informing this new, perhaps more inclusive worldview.

    The second, more subject-detatched view is that of a more existential global awareness. This worldview incorporate the notion of our common predicament, that of being an evolving species, alongside countless others, within an intricacy interwoven ecosystem, at one point in time, where our world is an inheritance of decisions from our ancestors and our decedents receive the same from ourselves. While able to achieve the outcomes in terms of the subjectivity of our baseline experiences, this second form of Global Awareness is based on a more objective perspective of our collective condition.

    With Genuine Interest

    Paul
  • Jul 26 2013: Scanning the comments, I am repeating some but I think of Global Awareness in 5 ways.

    1. Be aware of how you are affecting the planet in general, i.e. carbon footprint, the use of rare earth elements, etc.

    2. Be aware of how events are affecting you/US - Egypt's unrest is causing the price of gas to go up. Europe is concerned about the flow of oil and natural gas through the Suez Canal. To hedge against this, some companies are buying futures from South America, Canada and Africa which also supplies the US. This is raising the price of oil which is causing the gasoline prices to go up. There are many of these, like the Portugal Bond Sale, an election of a new government in Australia sometime this fall.

    3. Learn Geography so you can understand how certain actions are affecting an entire region and be able to come close to placing countries in the right continent 8>))

    4. Study the cultures so this may help you understand the diversity and underpinnings of certain actions.

    5. Read/view outside sources of news - US news sources are US centric and very little news of the outside world - how many people knew that Canada had a major election in 2011? It also gives an interesting view of the US from the outside.
    • Jul 30 2013: Your #5 is a very good point.

      As to your #4, if you live in an area where there are foreigners, I would recommend trying to speak to them.
      Simply studying is not enough. It is also good to speak to those who have come from other parts of the world.
      • Jul 30 2013: agree it would be better to talk and meet people from different parts of the world but there are parts where that opportunity is not available. i.e. small towns
        • Jul 30 2013: yes, that is why I stated that "If you live in an area where there are foreigners" at the beginning of my comment.

          Good thing that we have the internet and sites like TED to help us, huh?
      • Jul 30 2013: sorry missed it
  • Jul 26 2013: Simple really, we all come from the same source ....to be gobally aware means to understand and truly accept and live this at a core level . if it is important is relative to what YOU are choosing to experience:)
  • Jul 26 2013: Actually, we feel scared to the strangers. When their children ceaselessly do chats or meet people who join together with in the Internet, parents do not show positive attitudes because they think it is quite dangerous. I was a person like that. I had made relationships with people who I have known very well due to safety. However, our whole world are getting closer and we poeple have enormous opportunities to meet each other. And this is an revolution! We can corporate and help each other with open mind. We are never alone. Invisible links construct bridges between us ( ^^)
    • Jul 30 2013: "this is a revolution!".........it is, isn't it?

      I really enjoyed your contribution.

      And I totally agree........."We can cooperate and help each other with an open mind" :)
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    Jul 25 2013: To be globally aware is to be realize I am one person out of 7+ billion people and I'm no better no worse than any of them. To understand humanity and to be humane, I must look past politics and religion, past economics status or class distinction, past race or nationality, and reside in the basic, most fundamental reality, that all life is one. Not just one human compared to another, but also this plant at my feet, this tree above me head, that rock to my side, the bird in this bush, all life, all nature, all creation is of one planet, ruled over equally by the same universal laws and existing within the realm of the four (or perhaps eleven) basic dimensions.

    To be globally aware is to start with the similarities and then go into the differences and not vice versa.
  • Aug 3 2013: Hi Asan,
    For me, to be globally aware is to carry with me throughout the day, the mindset that I am meaningfully connected to people I cannot see and lands I have not traversed. When I drink my morning coffee, I know that the hands that harvested the beans and toiled the land,often times for meager wages, were in pursuit of many of the same
    things as I, a way to take care of their families and a better way of life. When I reach for the faucet to effortlessly access running water, I am humbled by the thought that someone will walk several miles on blistered feet to bring back treasured buckets of this often taken for granted commodity.
    While I have traveled extensively and lived in other countries, I have concluded that to be globally aware is not about where you have been and what you have seen, it is about an open-heart and what you can feel.
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    Aug 3 2013: Asan,
    The question seems easy to me as well, and perhaps an easy question can have an easy answer? Awareness and the importance of awareness may mean different things to different individuals, and to some, it may mean nothing, so perhaps there are many answers.....all beneficial.

    To me, awareness of the life experience and everything involved in that adventure is interesting, and I am a very curious person, so I would not deny myself the opportunity to explore. It makes sense to me, to be aware of what is happening in this earth we all share, and I believe that people are all interconnected, so it makes sense to me to treat people and the earth we share with kindness and respect.

    The more we are aware, the more information we might have, which contributes and supports our existence on this earth in a beneficial, harmonious, peaceful way. To me, this simple idea seems logical, reasonable, realistic, and very possible:>)
  • Aug 2 2013: ...we must be globally aware to represent ourselves as intellectual, knowledgeable and well connected person...different knowledge facilitate myself to connect with people from other geographies...

    ...but this is half true...

    ...more I learned less difference I found...people are different from vocal language, dresses, cultures, philosophies or festivals...but are more connected and similar as human, as purpose...happiness and relations are the pursuit of everyone...recognition and insecurities are the driving forces...

    ....we must be globally aware to understand that we all humans live, believe and grow with same purposes; we are neither above or beneath anybody; but at different stages of awareness...different level of conscience...

    ...contribute to this awareness and oneness to stay aware blissfully, happily and freely...

    With regards

    Manish Kumar Aggarwal
    The Mindfood Chef
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      Aug 2 2013: couldn't it be as simple as global aware also affect our well being too? I mean both mentally and physically of course.
  • Jul 30 2013: Have you seen the latest pictures?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/8-stunning-pictures-of-earth-from-space/#/awe-inspiring-views-earth-saturn-ring_69607_600x450.jpg

    We are nothing but a speck in the vastness of the universe.

    Perhaps what we need to be is universally aware.

    Who runs the universe?

    Perhaps awareness of that one detail is what we need to humble ourselves and actually stop all the nonsense that is wreaking havoc on humanity.
    • Jul 30 2013: Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

      Perhaps this quote helps answer your query:

      Each person alive helps paint the living picture of civilization as it exists at any given time, in your terms. Be your own best artist. Your thoughts, feelings, and expectations are like the living brush strokes with which you paint your corner of lifes landscape. If you do your best in your own life, then you are indeed helping to improve the quality of all life. Your thoughts are as real as snowflakes or raindrops or clouds. They mix and merge with the thoughts of others, to form mans' living-scape, providing the vast mental elements from which physical events will be formed.
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      Jul 30 2013: Universally aware. That would certainly put things into perspective.
      • Jul 30 2013: "A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way." A. Klein
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    Jul 30 2013: The cultures of the world, politics, religion, ecology, science, economy, gastronomy are all important perspectives to be considered. Different lenses we use to view the world. Just, when we're viewing, make sure to expand it past the local or regional.

    To me, global awareness is a puzzle. We come across little pieces of it everyday in the news, at the store, in tv shows, movies, school, work. Without having an idea of the 'big' picture, we're very limited in what we can do with it.

    The world is a dynamic place and every person affects and is affected by it. We should be aware of how.
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      Jul 30 2013: Gastronomy is a good one to mention, because it a great case study for your last line: "The world is a dynamic place and every person affects and is affected by it. We should be aware of how." That really applies to what food you meat, at least in my country, because whether you choose to buy local, organic, and vegetarian has a totally different impact on the world than if you eat most meats, certain fishes, highly-processed food and anything that's been shipped from all around.

      In making the gastronomic changes I've been trying to make, my global awareness has broadened. It has made me to take time to consider other cuisines as I search for different ways of cooking things and it has led me to read about the effects of commercial fisheries or how cattle, pigs, etc. introduce so much methane into the environment. It has made me see that my food decisions have an impact that "expand(s) it past the local or the regional." as you phrased it.
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        Aug 1 2013: Hi Daniel,

        I agree with you, however, I've been a bit confused about food for the past 2 years. I was vegetarian for about 6 years since 2005 and for about 14 years previously.

        I am insulin resistant. and been reading about low carb high fat. switched to eating meat, oil and veggies these past two years but I'm really really bad at dieting so can't really report one way or the other. It works for me when i don't cheat lol. But I'm still waiting for overwhelming proof from the scientific community.

        Listen to this guy
        http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_attia_what_if_we_re_wrong_about_diabetes.html

        Still very worried about the environment and desertification, but I think It'll take more concerted effort.

        you know, the US has a success story for reversing the desertification process. back when we had a dustbowl , That was stopped and reversed. Riparian buffers, strips of trees around fields.

        And I have a plan to green the world and create carbon sinks for that methane in the atmosphere. but that's a post for a different thread:)
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          Aug 1 2013: I'm totally confused about food. The more I read about it and the further I go in my 'research,' the more frustrated I get about it. Jonathan Safran Foer wrote a book called 'Eating Animals' that has permeated my conscious more than a rash of other books I've consumed (pun intended) lately. Adam Gopnik's 'The Table Comes First' was an antidote and yet somehow not the answer.

          Anyways, I'm sorry to hear you have IR. But on the positive side of things, it appears to me that it has expanded your awareness of food and made you more conscious of what you are eating and that seems like a good thing, right?

          I'm just having my morning coffee before I walk the dogs and take off for the day, but I will watch Peter Attia's talk later today and let you know what I thought. Thanks for the recommendation. I like watching the TED playlists, but I like even more to watch a talk someone recommends.

          I think the physical effects of the Dust Bowl were largely overcome or offset, but the short-sighted mentality of trying to take from nature as much as possible while giving as little as possible back in return in order to make the almighty dollar is, I think, perhaps cynically, still alive and well today. If you take I-40, I-70 or even I-80 west through that area today you see monocultures that extend from horizon to horizon, or the same three or four crops for mile after mile.

          Lastly, I love oil and veggies. I think I consume more olive oil than anyone I know and when I have money I will have a cabinet full of all the other kinds of oils, like walnut oil or avocado oil. Good luck with your low carb high fat 'diet,' I don't like that word.
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        Aug 1 2013: hehehe I don't like that word either. Coconut oil is really good and it's a medium chain triglyceride. Palm oil too except for it's big environmental impact. Glad to hear you're going local, and processed food is out for me too.

        It sounds like you've taken an interest and done some research and that's always a good thing:)
        I don't especially advocate anything specific about food except to read and make conscious decisions based on what resonates with you.

        And the dust bowl 'cure' in my mind would just be a start.

        Have you heard of China's great green wall? I'm reading about it now, so don't have all the details, but a lot of the trees died because they didn't use a logical pattern for them. and too many of the same trees.

        Allan savory's talk on how to reverse desertification is good too. Have you seen the show about how the natives engineered parts of the amazon?

        oops, time to go to work.
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          Aug 2 2013: I have coconut oil! I don't use it for cooking so often, but it goes in a lot of smoothies, because the taste of it goes a long way. I have to store it in the fridge, because it turns liquid in my cupboard. I think I saw something about palm plantations once.

          I watched the Peter Attia talk and I'm glad you suggested it. It's definitely something I want to pass on to my parents, something I think they should be aware. Personally, I found it inspiring to see a professional not merely admit, but embrace their mistakes and use it to become better in their profession and as a person.

          I hadn't hear of the Great Green Wall of China, but I did some online reading. Crazy. Did you know they have one in Africa, too? Called the Great Green Wall as well?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall

          And that led to an interesting link on something similar being done following the Dust Bowl.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains_Shelterbelt

          I'll have to watch Allan Savory's talk now, too. And no, I don't know anything about native engineering parts of the Amazon.

          Around here you often see lines of pine trees that were planted decades ago as windbreaks but have grown to cathedral heights with blankets of pine needles spread out beneath them. And there is one outside my front door. "I say enjoyment of pine trees is artistically most significant, because it represents silence and majesty and detachment from life which are so similar to the manner of the recluse." --Lin Yutang, 'The Importance of Living'
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        Aug 2 2013: Hi Daniel,

        Thanks for watching it!

        Here's some information about the amazon
        Google search terms "the amazon natives engineered the forest"
        http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1017-amazon.html
        http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077413/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/lost-cities-amazon-revealed/#.UfssXNI3BIU
        http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/photos/fact-or-fiction-7-eco-myths-debunked/the-rain-forest-is-a-nat

        Google search terms "the amazon natives terra preta"

        We can make terra preta and get rid of our landfills, even tire and plastic waste, even sewage, and utilize the energy it produces using this:

        Google search term "continuous microwave catalytic depolymerization"

        This explanation is good, but substitute depolymerisation for where it say pyrolysys and know that it doesn't have to be just biomass, it can be plastic, manure, sewage, tyres, household waste. and the biochar retains more carbon, especially if they do it at less than 350 degrees
        http://www.gizmag.com/biochar-to-offset-greenhouse-gas-emissions/16006/

        Then switch to no till farming, get rid of fertilizers completely, let the terra preta grow itself.

        Thanks for the links! following them now. I knew about the african one, but several years ago. I remember something about how the poor just went and cut those trees for firewood.

        And the shelterbelt is exactly what I was talking about. The planting of trees around fields and property lines and along waterbodies
  • Jul 29 2013: To be globally aware means to look at the world from center point of your perspective and to determine where one stands in this vast network of world.Global awareness can help one to develop sense of where one stands,what role one can play and help one to make deeper and coherent perspective of reality.
  • Jul 27 2013: It is importance to be global awareness because of people need to have a source of food ,water and communication to live in to days wold, With out this source we are domed to repeat the passed and have a dark age then there will be no knowledge just destruction.
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    Jul 27 2013: I know the need for risk, hard work, grit, education, all one needs to get ahead. In a way I'm a hard nose. I've no tolerance for slugs, layabouts, or profligate spenders. Unfortunately even the most industrious among us today, well educated people, are beginning to realize. The system is (completely skewed) in favor the (super rich), international ,criminal, banking, oil, and commodities, cartels.Sorry to say, but those who can't see that are simply not in possession of all the facts. When General electric Makes 30 billion in profits in a single year, and pays "ZERO" income tax, theres something seriously wrong. When Wall street executives who by their knowing, wanton, criminal, reckless, behavior nearly collapse, not just the American economy, but the entire worlds economy,we have serious problems. When organizations like the (American Legislative Exchange Council , ALEC) Funded by the (Koch brothers), Literally herds congress members into rooms, where they literally draft pending legislation (word for word ), without public knowledge, to be pencil whipped by that congress person, after a sizable (corporate) donation, that's not a (conspiracy theory) that's a coup de' tat. That is literally happening every day. Because of the (Citizens United Decision) we have these same people spending $10billion, on the last election, to literally buy congress, we are in very deep indeed. I could go on with examples for hours, and hours. My libertarian brothers, and sisters in my considered opinion are living in a fools paradise if they honestly believe we can do without a functioning government to police these thugs. Do they suppose all those wonderful hedge-fund managers on Wall Street, that are just brimming with ethical standard, and overflowing with the milk of human kindness, will do the right thing to rebuild Americas crumbling infrastructure. Will they assure the rest of us that they will meet their obligations. More the fool them that believe such a fantasy. Anti trust!
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    W. Ying

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    Jul 26 2013: .

    It is because:

    We have an ultra-high sensitivity,
    to almost anything anywhere on the globe.
    We can not get rid of it to survive.
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    Jul 26 2013: Many respondents below have noted, and I agree, that peoples across the world are interdependent in that the decisions we make affect other people's lives. Yet it is easy, depending on the news you watch or read and your other sources of information to have either no picture or a very distorted picture of what life is like outside your own neighborhood or your own country.

    Knowing about other cultures, the problems people face other than those with whom you are in regular contact, and the cool ideas others may be implementing can provide new ideas of how to solve problems right in your own backyard and also reveal problems elsewhere you may be able to be a part of solving or at least not making worse.

    Further, conflicts that leave everyone worse off often are caused by faulty information, misunderstanding of what is really going on, and people's not knowing each other well enough to care enough to collaborate.
  • Jul 25 2013: I think it means to be honest about what life is like all over the planet. It is necessary for us to identify where on the planet humanity is failing to live up to its potential. And, we have to be totally honest about our assessment of different cultures and political systems. Canada is a wonderful place. Iran is a repressive regime. This does not mean that Canada is perfect and Iran is worthless. We grow as a species by emulating that good things that humans are doing no matter where they are found. The US is a clean country. China is a major polluter. This does not mean that the US can't do better, but quit treating it like it is the killer of the planet. It is the leader and should be recognized for it. It should not be punished for not hitting arbitrary goals that no one else comes close to. The goal is steady improvement. If you want to know the answer to life, the universe, and everything, that is it.
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      Jul 26 2013: Thought I would point out something Charles. The figures show that The US burns more fossil fuel per capita / per person per year than any other country, and I believe exceeds the amount used in the third world (as a whole), I forget exactly, but it's a ridiculous amount. Not only that, (our pollution) that stuff we used to put out by the mountain full back in the day, well we've just outsourced that to China. In other words we're still buying all the crap, the lawn chairs the plastic coolers, the cheep cars, the millions of consumer items most of which serve only and entertainment purpose. The pollution is still being made by us, It just has to come floating back in toxic clouds, and baby formula full of melamine from China, The US military alone, uses more oil in one month than most third world countries do in a year. We are in no way innocent of criticism. It's all corruption, and the propaganda machine that keeps it all going suicidally. International criminal cartels control the whole operation. They have literally taken over our government to where we no longer live in a functioning democracy. It's now just a charade . It may well have been since the beginning. Who knows Charles?
      • Jul 26 2013: You are correct that we have outsourced some of our pollution creation to China by having products made there. But, we in no way dictate to China that they must pollute in order to make those products. Yes, it is also true that we burn more fossil fuel than any other country. We burn that fuel, produce less pollution, and create more wealth than most any other country on the planet. If we are concerned about the planet, we should do everything we can to encourage the US to burn more fuel, not less.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC0QtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dnuv0K8H8ILM&ei=R9vxUdXpOsrArQHlr4GIDg&usg=AFQjCNFeAAl5r8tMDKBRw8MIeRD_XpKOCw&sig2=5ekQFHJwJRTTdwUexHrf8w&bvm=bv.49784469,d.aWM
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          Jul 26 2013: (real wealth creation), in the world right now is actually in (China),(Germany), and (India).They are doing what we use to do in this country. "They make things". It's true the size of our economy is larger, but mostly due to (finance money) about 70% + oil, NG and silicon valley. Multinational corporations like General Motors, that we just bailed out, and their fellows in the auto industry refused to correct their totally wrong headed plan for producing giant gas hogs. Meanwhile the rest of the world was riding mopeds, and driving fuel efficient vehicles. We were pretty stupid, and still are apparently. That's because the biggest share holders in those companies, were the same investment cartels that own billions in oil stocks, among other nefarious reasons.Then when the inevitable, and (deliberately planned) shift of customer choice went where any idiot would have known it would go IE Japan, and China, they pulled up stakes and started manufacturing in China. They did however manage destroy Detroit, and many other cities, They should be made to pay back the money they extorted from the communities they used, and threw away. They destroyed unions. They cut the wages by a huge amount so workers who use to raise a family can barely pay the rent. Charles my friend, I lived in Americas (golden, but blind) years when things were sailing. The world didn't hate us then. You could survive on a decent manufacturing salary with a house, kids, car, a dog all that. Eisenhower warned us about the (military,and intelligence industrial complex) His prediction has frighteningly come true to the point where we no longer have a functioning democracy, but a corporate fascist state. The lunatic Dulles brothers in charge of the CIA, brought us endless fiascos, and cosmic blunders. two corporate lawyers running the biggest spy agency n the world. Not a great plan i'd say. They screwed us big time in my opinion. Assassinations ,military coups, Vietnam, the list is endles
      • Jul 27 2013: There is only one kind of wealth creation. By definition, all wealth creation is real wealth creation. We lead the world in ideas and information. china and India may make the computers, but IBM, Apple, Intel, Microsoft and many other US companies make the profits.

        Now, GM is only wrong headed in producing gas hogs if the people don't want to buy them. The market will tell them to stop making them. You not wanting people to buy them is not a sufficient reason for people not to buy them. You certainly have every right to make the argument, and I would join your voice if the argument was persuasive. Society should be able to convince its citizens how to behave. However, if your argument was not persuasive, and the market did not say to stop making them, then I would stand in your way to use force of any kind in order to get what you want.

        But it is possible to convince society to do something or change its mind. Slavery was abolished because the argument was made until enough people were behind it to force a change. Prohibition was out, then it was in, then it was out again. I think all of these green initiatives that corporations do are a big waste of money, and most everyone else did too. But, societal pressure sure has most every company flaunting its green cred.

        Detroit was destroyed due to half a century of Democratic rule and nothing else. The jobs that shifted to Japan or anywhere else, though bad for the worker that lost his job, were good for the American consumer who got cheaper goods. If you want to blame anyone for the cut wages of the union workers you can only blame, the union worker, the company management. It's not as conspiratorial as you make it sound. Management pays itself huge salaries because it can. It limits union wages because it can, Unions fight for wages and benefits that the company can't sustain. Unions do not appeal to shareholders to reign in management or if they do they fail and then the company fails. It's pretty simple.
      • Jul 27 2013: I'm afraid that I just can't subscribe to your level of conspiracy. If you want to talk about government ineptitude, I'm with you. Either way, conspiracy or ineptitude, I would be happy to have you join me in pursuing the cause of freedom. Let's reduce the power that the government has for evil and incompetence. Then all you have to do is convince more of the citizens than I can as to which direction the country should take.
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      Jul 30 2013: I completely agree with your first post, Charles, except for one sentence "US is a clean country". Being completely honest is a very good thing to do, which is why it's important to note the difference between having clean streets and being clean. To me, being one of the largest polluters in the world and being clean are mutually exclusive concepts.
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    Aug 5 2013: IN MY VIEW: being globally aware is to know all that is to know about the world we live in such that we make right choices. I think this sort of access of information is very valuable but the condition is we should be in a state to utilize it. Its importance is related with our own ability. Hence the question we need to ask should be: are we capable of making the right choices if we have such access.
  • Aug 4 2013: global awareness for me is the oneness, it means the no-difference (inside) based on the recognization, approval of the difference (outside). Whatever the difference is, we can see ourselves from it.
    the media, or whatever the informations in our life, they insisted the differences; it because we were living as the "self" and not live as a "whole".
    Babies they are pure, and joyful because they didn't learn the self and differences.

    I don't know what could bring up the global awareness, certainly more understanding and illuminated living lifes
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      Aug 4 2013: Hello Yu, I quite agree with what you mentioned "no-difference (inside) based on the recognization". Does it mean "human nature " ? I believe what a human being in common is not only in terms of psychology and physiology, but also the reasons make us to be so different in terms of culture ,religion , history and political state.We started with learning the different;however, end with awareness of understanding ,toleration,sympathy and mutual-learning.
      • Aug 4 2013: Hi Dan, yes I think I mean the no-difference as the human nature, which I mean we all have been a baby once and we all grow old and we all have feelings etc.
        And I agree what you said about the common points of the human being, because I believe the mind is a lot of time mislanding or deceptive. At a lot of time, the head is leading human being but the head itself is conflictual. So if people don't lead by the head instead of recognize of their thoughts, there whouldn't have that much of people with eyes but blind heart.
        I think awareness is recognization and live as an unity but of course awareness is so large and maybe everywhere that I can't understand yet. I truly want to build or simply to live in a human harmony..place?
  • Jul 30 2013: http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-ranked-by-air-pollution/

    It all depends on what you call pollution. Also, you have to take into account what is produced for the amount of pollution. If I had a choice between a country that produced little pollution, but an even smaller amount of goods, compared to a country that produced far more pollution or even the most pollution, but as a smaller percentage compared to the goods that are produced, I would choose the second country.
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      Aug 1 2013: CO2 emissions by country
      http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2#zoomed-picture

      Nuclear waste
      http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_pol_nuc_was-environment-pollution-nuclear-waste

      Municipal waste generation
      http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_was_gen-environment-waste-generation
      Municipal waste per capita
      http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_pol_mun_was_per_cap-pollution-municipal-waste-per-capita

      Actually, that particular site has more categories of pollution to look at.

      Fresh water pollution US is number 30.

      Anyway, Like you said, "It is necessary for us to identify where on the planet humanity is failing to live up to its potential. And, we have to be totally honest about our assessment of different cultures and political systems. " The US is a major polluter,and we should work towards fixing it. I'd love to see the US taking the leadership role in this area too.

      I wanna see an intense solar race be the new nuclear race and I wanna win that too.

      But it looks like we're going the wrong way
      http://www.environmentamerica.org/news/ame/us-house-passes-outrageous-attack-americans%E2%80%99-health-and-environment.

      Then there is also Illegal toxic waste dumping. That's where the waste is generated in the US, but we dump it elsewhere. No I don't mean we paid other countries to get rid of it. I mean we tried dumping it without their knowledge. Here's just one example. If you do a search on google for US toxic waste dump, you'll find more. keep in mind that these are only the ones that got caught.
      http://globalnation.inquirer.net/55622/us-toxic-waste-dumped-in-subic
      • Aug 2 2013: We most certainly can find agreement when it comes to toxic waste. I would at this point like to talk about CO2. Is CO2 even a pollutant. You make it; I make it; plants need it to survive. Like anything, too much is not usually a good thing. The amount of CO2 that the US produced in 2011 was 526 million metric tons, or 0.526 billion metric tons. This was actually a decrease over the previous year and follows the trend of decreasing emissions starting in 2007. In 2011, China's CO2 emissions were 31.6 billion metric tons. This was a new record for China and an increase that offset the decreases by the US and Europe. It was also almost 60 times higher than what the US produced.

        What did we get for the 0.526 billion metric tons of CO2 from the US. The US economy produced a GDP that year of just under 15 trillion dollars. That works out to 0.036 metric tons of CO2 per dollar produced. China's GDP in dollars was 7.2 trillion. In comparison China produced 4.39 metric tons of CO2 per dollar of GDP. That made China a polluter at a rate 122 times that of the US. So please understand why I feel that I can call the US a clean country. It is not perfect, but the world would be better off if China quit producing anything and let the US take over. The US is not perfect. I'm sure there are nuclear and other toxic waste problems that need to be addressed, but CO2 does not seem to rise to the same level of concern.

        US CO2 EMISSIONS 2011
        http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/

        CHINA CO2 EMISSIONS 2011
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/24/us-co2-iea-idUSBRE84N0MJ20120524

        GDP BY COUNTRY 2011
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal) (I used the UNs numbers for my calculations only because it was listed first)
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          Aug 3 2013: Hi Charles,

          Thanks for the links.

          Please check your numbers- From your link on US CO2 numbers
          "energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined in 2011 by 2.4 percent and were 526 million metric tons (9 percent) below the 2005 level."

          In fact, it does not give total numbers anywhere on the page. it only talks about changes from the previous year and from 2005.

          If you check this page on the same site, you'll get the real numbers for both countries,

          http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8

          2011 Total Energy CO2 Emissions (Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide)
          China 8715.30724
          US 5490.63123

          "It was also almost 60 times higher than what the US produced." Nope

          I feel we should take a step back and figure out what the argument is about. Why is CO2 important? It is a greenhouse gas. The more of it there is in the atmosphere, The more heat that gets trapped on earth, the hotter it gets.
          http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html

          Measuring CO2 against GDP would be a measure of efficiency, So I certainly agree that the US is more efficient than China, especially considering the difference in our populations. But as far as pollution goes, we are not in competition with China. That's like the pot calling the kettle black. Pollution affects the whole world. I would argue this point with you even if you identified yourself as chinese and we were talking about China being 'clean'

          Back to my original point, being better than one country doesn't mean we can call the US 'clean'. We are nowhere near it. I feel that using that word gives the wrong picture when there's so much work to do. It might even be a dangerous word to use ... why?

          http://www.upworthy.com/the-good-news-is-we-know-what-the-problem-is-the-bad-news-is-wtf

          It reminds me of the commercials some oil companies use, calling themselves "green" companies lol. Or Natural gas companies saying they're green. It's horrible corporate propaganda.
      • Aug 4 2013: Thank you so much for correcting my mistake. I don't know that we will see eye to eye on this issue, but at the very least, I appreciate factual information. I must admit that I expected the US to be more efficient in its generation of CO2, and so I did not doubt the numbers that I found. Perhaps you are correct that we need to clarify what the argument is, but before we do, I would like to recalculate the numbers for my original argument based on the corrected information that you provided. The amount of CO2 that the US produced in 2011 was 0.37 billion metrics tons per dollar of GDP. The amount that China produced was 1.21 billion metric tons per dollar of GDP. That shows China polluting as a rate 3.3 times higher than the US. All things being equal, the US is cleaner than China.

        Now, you make a good argument that just because the US is cleaner than China, it is still all relative since the effect of pollution is felt on a global basis since it is a mixture from all countries once it hits the atmosphere. So I can agree that just because the US is cleaner than China, that does not translate into the US being clean. Still, the article that I incorrectly cited for my absolute amount of CO2 does show that the US is getting better.

        So let's focus on the argument of anthropomorphic caused climate change and CO2 as a greenhouse gas. I seriously doubt that either of us will change their mind based on anything posted here, but you never know. We've already seen that what is assumed is not always correct. So here goes.

        I don't doubt that there is a consensus of climate scientists that believe in climate change. That in and of itself is meaningless. At one point in time there was a consensus that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. Galileo was to be put to death for denying the Earth centered universe, and the climate deniers of today face a similar fate. Not an actual death, but an equally terrifying career death.
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          Aug 4 2013: Hi Charles,

          We don't have to see eye to eye, as far as I'm personally concerned. It won't hurt my feelings:) Actually it's stimulating to discuss things with someone of the opposing viewpoint. It forces me to reexamine the data from different perspectives. I would even like for you to be right (that humans are not causing it, and even better, if I were to indulge in wishful thinking, that it's not happening at all)

          Because climate change is such a big threatening concept where the stakes are high, I would like to see consensus on this issue. I don't think we'll get it. Glad to see some people with the funds and innovative ability buy into it, so I do still have hope. Bill Gates's words on TED resonate in this situation. He said that he would like to see innovation evolve to the point that even if a consumer wanted polluting technology, the non polluting technology in question would be so cheap that it would just make more economical sense to choose it instead. I think solar has come close to this. Elon Musk's Solar City offers the lease or purchase of solar panels enough to supply your current electrical needs at a monthly fee that is less than your current electricity bill. and over the 20 year period, maintenance is included. And if you buy it outright, you will have made up the cost in 8 years. That's only considering electricity at today's rates, no need to worry about inflation.

          I am glad that the US is getting more efficient when measuring CO2 emissions against GDP.
          I'd be curious about the per capita residential use changes from year to year.

          I don't think Galileo is a good analogy because it is the idea of anthropogenic climate change that is the radically new idea. In Galileo's time, his idea caught on gradually, first with the scientists of his time, then with the general public. I'd even say that Galileo is a good analogy FOR climate change believers.
      • Aug 4 2013: The proponents of climate change stop at nothing to silence those that disagree.

        SILENCING DISSENT
        http://www.spectator.co.uk/australia/australia-features/8981081/silencing-climate-change-dissenters/

        http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/silencing-dissent.html

        Climate change is less a scientific problem than it is a political one. One reason for the production of so much science that shows climate change is that data showing climate change is what was paid for. There is little academic honesty in this realm of science, and that is because proof is not readily available.

        GREENHOUSE GASES
        http://www.naturalnews.com/040448_solar_radiation_global_warming_debunked.html

        http://www.plantsneedco2.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=371

        http://junkscience.com/2011/11/03/greenhouse-advocates-cant-see-the-obvious/

        What value is there in politicizing the climate? The answer has to do with the fall of communism, and the explosion of wealth created by the freedoms afforded in the US. The argument that a central government is the best or even a good way to distribute limited resources and provide for the populace has been destroyed. What hasn't been destroyed is the desire of many to hold power over others. By creating panic, it is easier to convince the population to accept control from the government that they would not normally accept. The greater the crisis the better. A crisis that has nebulous proof and grave consequences is the best kind. It affords broad range in the usurpation of powers and the lack of available proof makes questioning the new practices unassailable.

        Is the climate changing? You bet. We have had many documented period of warming and cooling. We do not live in a homeostatic environment. The sun is of course the largest variable in the temperatures that we observe on this planet. I however am not willing to surrender my freedom based on global cooling/warming/climate change.
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          Aug 4 2013: I am glad that we agree climate change is happening. What I understand is that we disagree on the causes of it.

          Can you clarify to me what you think the consequences of climate change are?
      • Aug 4 2013: I am not opposed to alternate forms of energy, but let the free market bring viable products to us as opposed to wasting billions on government boondoggles. Remove the politicization of climate science. Quit basing anything on consensus and let's actually find real data and models that both sides can agree is, first real, and second actionable. I don't think that I am being unreasonable, but I am willing to hear what you have to say if you disagree.
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          Aug 4 2013: My views on climate change are not based on consensus. The reason consensus is important is that it requires concerted effort on the part of humanity as a whole to fix.
      • Aug 4 2013: Manishka,

        You are quite right that whether man made climate change is real or not, nothing will be done on a planetary level without a concerted effort of everyone. There is where the problem lies. If it is not real, why should anyone change their life? If it is real, how do you convince everyone? You say that your views on climate change aren't based on the consensus of scientific views. What do you base it on? How would you use what you base it on to build a consensus among the people to change? You will need to clarify that, because I and many others are actively working against that proposition. If you can change our minds, we will then join you in the fight to change others. If you cannot, then we will continue to fight against the idea of human caused climate change.

        Now, I can't speak for the great masses of people out there, but for myself, I would never disparage you or your ideas simply because they are different from mine. I will use everything at my disposal to disprove or refute them, but I am honest enough to say that I would change my mind if you were to bring up something that I could not refute. Maybe not immediately, but in the end, I do not wish to be purposely wrong. If I am truly wrong, i will have no choice but to accept that as fact and change my way of thinking. That is essentially what I was trying to say at the very beginning. We must always be vigilant in checking our biases so that we don't accidentally or on purpose deceive ourselves and mask our ability to recognize the truth.
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          Aug 5 2013: Hi Charles,

          you said " Quit basing anything on consensus and let's actually find real data and models that both sides can agree is, first real, and second actionable" and " You say that your views on climate change aren't based on the consensus of scientific views"

          Consensus of general views, or scientific views? do you mean scientific research? or do you mean the views of scientists whether in the field or not? do you mean a consensus of scientific data?

          I grew up at a time when people were told that the world was headed towards an ice age. Then we were told that it's exactly the opposite. fortunately, just about then, two world changing events happened: the internet was born, and I had a baby. This meant that I stayed at home for the next 3 years and surfed the net :) I looked at this new idea of global warming skeptically. Everytime i heard about some research, i went online and looked for the holes in it.

          The habits continue. I then did an internal inventory. Did it make sense?

          I don't want to hijack this conversation with this, and my workweek is starting again, so it'll be a few days before i can find the specific data that convinced me, but I'd be glad to.
          You're a tedster and I'm sure I'll see you on. Meanwhile, I've started a new conversation that I would welcome your input on.

          You've repeated several times the word 'real', and also said that global warming is happening, just not anthropogenic. Do you believe the world is getting warmer regardless of the cause?

          Also, whether CO2, toxic waste, or others, I do still believe that it's not a good idea to call the US clean, or to put it above other countries, I think we should not allow complacency.
  • Jul 28 2013: Il filosofo tedesco I.Kant ha mostrato che il CONDIZIONATO -l'individuo sensibile empirico- non può avere la conoscenza, valida intellettualmente, dell'INCONDIZIONATO, ossia l'insieme di tutte le condizioni, che va solo postulato dalla ragione. Dunque come è possibile averne consapevolezza a livello globale?
    D'altra parte, il linguista italiano S.Ceccato ha provato che la consapevolezza, cioè il pensiero che ritorna sul pensiero, è un compito alla portata di ciascun individuo. S i tratta della estensione consapevole del cosiddetto spirito di osservazione applicato allo studio di ciò che facciamo con la nostra testa, per mezzo del metodo descrittivo-sperimentale che va associato all'italiano Galileo Galilei. Pensare globalmente, agire localmente secondo consapevolezza e responsabilità, malgrado i cigni neri e il 'butterfly effect' (Pensare è facile, essendo una spontaneità biologica, difficile è sapere come si fa!).Grazie della Vostra attenzione.
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      Jul 30 2013: I so wanna comprehend this! so many familiar words yet meaning is just out of reach.
      • Jul 30 2013: The German philosopher I.Kant showed that the empirical-CONDITIONED-sensitive l'individuo may not have the knowledge, valid intellectually, of the unconditioned, that is, the set of all conditions, which is only postulated by reason. So as you can have global awareness?
        On the other hand, the Italian linguist S.Ceccato has proven that awareness, that is the thought that returns to the thought, is a task within the reach of every individual. T his is aware of the extension of the so-called powers of observation applied to the study of what we do with our head, by means of descriptive and experimental method that should be assigned to Italian Galileo Galilei. Think globally, act locally according to awareness and responsibility, in spite of the swans blacks and the 'butterfly effect' (Thinking is easy, being a biological spontaneity, it is difficult to know how to do it!). Thank you for your attention.

        {courtesy of translate.google}
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    Jul 26 2013: "global awareness" is merely a result of worldwide communication and media coverage. it means that the next generation is getting huge pressure to be good homosapiens. it is not important.
    • Jul 26 2013: If global awareness is a "result of worldwide communication" according to your statement, wouldn't that be extremely important? Because today's humanity is built on worldwide communication and that result might have dramatic effects.
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        Jul 26 2013: i don't see how.

        being aware of something happening on the other side of the world is pretty irrelevant to my daily comings and goings.

        if i needed to be involved in a debate or discussion about something global, i might need to be aware of the issues surrounding that particular topic.

        maybe if i sold a product overseas, it would pay to be informed about that market but i read the question as being relevant to my life, not general economics or business.

        it's unavoidable, these days, but to me, not important.
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          Jul 30 2013: Aside from selling to other countries, I think it's important to realize that we buy goods from them too. The impact of an unaware consumer is that they may think of themselves as ethical people while inadvertently contributing to atrocities being committed just for their almighty dollar.

          There's another viewpoint, which is that outside labor is cheaper, therefore they may lose their job or a job opportunity, all the while buying and paying for the outsourcing. It's good to know about your own far reaching impact on the world.

          A lot of toxic waste is being dumped outside. NIMBY says that's ok, it doesn't affect me, but it does in subtler ways.

          Thus far, I've restricted it to the consumer point of view.

          One day, you might get new neighbors moving in, and even if you're not a confrontational kinda guy, your other neighbors may be. They might get all territorial and start some unrest. you wouldn't be able to have an intelligent opinion on the issue (happened to me), then, after they get beat up, maybe killed, you realise that they were refugees running from the same islamic regime that they had been accused of being part of. I watched that happen about 8 years ago to sudanese christian refugees. Watched and had no clue.

          The stray bullet, the silent bystander, the innocent child, the disinterested neighbor. Life involves you. You might as well play a hand in how it gets shaped.
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    Jul 25 2013: i think it means to meet all kinds of people, to be open-minded and unprejudiced, to ask many questions about other people's cultures and ways of living, to try other people's ways of doing things.
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      Jul 25 2013: And where does it leave one, if one finds 'other peoples' cultures and ways of living', consists of gender disparity, barbaric practices like female circumcision, stoning of adulterers and animal cruelty just to mention a few.

      Would you TRY those ways of doing things or do you believe those practices and the people who practice them should be denounced?
      • Comment deleted

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          Jul 25 2013: Barbarian and its forms is a word coming from the Greeks who thought that all outside cultures sounded like they were saying "bar bar bar" much as we say, "blah, blah, blah."
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          Jul 26 2013: Well John................the past is the past and the now is the now.

          Are you perchance suggesting the barbaric practices of the past in some cultures deems it Ok for it to be Ok in other present cultures??

          Oh and btw here's an example of what I find barbaric in my culture................We have a legal system as opposed to a justice system.

          Cheers............
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        Jul 25 2013: well, no, nothing says you have to try everything, probably I was more thinking of non-Chinese people going to a Chinese restaurant.
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          Jul 26 2013: Yep......that's a real cultural experience........cultural exchange...........nearly as meaningful as going down to the deli and getting some sauerkraut to put on your American hot dog in a Jewish American bagel. :)

          Three cultural experiences in one trip.

          cheers............
      • Jul 26 2013: I think part of being globally aware is striving your best to understand the world we live in. I think it is important because we often fear what we do not understand, and fear can lead to violent conflict. I do not think, however, that it means we should agree with everything we see in the world. I believe it is a matter of trying to put things into context, and considering several different viewpoints before reaching conclusions.
        • Jul 26 2013: I have to agree with Ryan Holly. Not sure what the point of mentioning Barbarian cultures is, but what I gather from this thread is that being globally aware is getting to know different cultures. You do not have to accept them or be a part of those cultures, but have an idea that there are other ways of living and the more you expose yourself to different cultures, the more globally aware you are.
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          Jul 26 2013: So Ryan Holly and Asan Anarkulov......................curious, in what cultural context do you see female circumcision??
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        Jul 26 2013: well, by itself it's a drop, but if you start having a lot of such experiences it becomes meaningful, eating with people, talking to people, going to parties with people, playing sports with people, working with people
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      Jul 25 2013: I think you're close. I think it's not about meeting "all kinds of people, to be open-minded and unprejudiced, to ask many questions about other people's cultures and ways of living, to try other people's ways of doing."

      That helps, but the essential thing is to recognize the INTERdependence of all life on earth. Everything is interconnected, so things happening on one side of the planet have an effect on things happening in many places places all over the world.

      I read a back issue of the Nature Conservancy magazine today and it talked about the Colorado river that flows through the United States and into Mexico and how they must learn to share this water and make joint decisions to meet their needs. Life in this world at large is like that.

      To be global is primarily to recognize that interdependence of human life, that we are all one species, and to appreciate that there are no causes without effects, that if the butterfly flaps its wings off the coast of Africa it can very well cause a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Like energy, which can be neither created nor destroyed, but only transformed from one form to another, so do your actions simply turn into reactions which incite actions which beget actions and so on and so on.

      Some may say global is about being international. Some may say global is about worldwide consciousness of this or that going on here or there. I think it is simply this: "We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty." --G.K. Chesterton.

      If you have an us versus them mentality, that's not being globally aware. Being globally aware there is primarily and fundamentally just US and THEM is as tedious as a twice told tale and better saved for other times.
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        Jul 25 2013: well, we're both right, D. If you're meeting many people from different cultures, I would think you'd be much more aware of the interdependence of people than someone who is isolated and only meets people like him or herself.
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          Jul 25 2013: Concur. (I imagine us mutually bowing towards one another.)

          (Me, somewhat longer and lower as I have no Ted Creds and you have 30+)
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        Jul 26 2013: I would say global awareness is heightened if one is having fun, and meeting people from different cultures is fun. For instance, I am Caucasian, I grew up in Glendale, California near Los Angeles, and in high school became friends with two Korean dudes. It was such fun going to their houses, taking your shoes off before you entered the door, eating Korean food, participating in Korean holidays. In the last fifteen years I lived for ten years near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, which is 95% Hispanic, and that was so fun, too, being exposed to Hispanic ways of thinking, living, eating, working, playing.

        What other cultures have you been exposed to?
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          Jul 27 2013: Yes, exposure person-to-person is valuable. But so is going to an art museum, going to the library, using the internet wisely, or living in different states within the same country, or in different cities within the same state, for that matter. Experience comes in all shapes and sizes.

          I've been exposed to myriad cultures in the following primary definition of the word exposure itself:

          "!. the fact or condition of being exposed: as
          a : the condition of being presented to view or made known
          b : the condition of being unprotected especially from severe weather
          c : the condition of being subject to some effect or influence
          d : the condition of being at risk of financial loss ; also : an amount at risk"

          I also have a pocket atlas sitting atop the toilet tank in case I haven't brought anything with me to read.
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    Jul 25 2013: Begs the question of should ones Global Aware raising questions be deemed unacceptable by the politically correct brigade and the TED administrators and accordingly be deemed not acceptable to be posted or asked on TED???
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      Jul 25 2013: I totally do not understand, for better or worse, what you've just said. Could you rephrase it so someone with a lower IQ such as myself might have a chance of grasping the lower-hanging fruit?
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        Jul 25 2013: I believe BR is saying that he proposed a thread which was not accepted and that he believes the reason to be that it was not considered politically correct.
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          Jul 26 2013: That makes sense. His apparent disdain for punctuation makes it hard to sense the underlying issues. Miyamoto Musashi in the Dokkodo in one of the middling precepts says: Resentments and complaints are inappropriate against oneself or others."
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          Jul 26 2013: Quite so Fritzie.............. but they have asked me to rephrase it so, 'quote' it is not a 'generalization I am making of the 3rd world and accordingly I have re submitted an amended version which may yet see the light of TED. :)

          And Daniel................does that make it clearer for you? And may I also suggest that Miyamoto Musashi (who I hadn't heard of until now) was one that spent his/her life turning the other cheek if they lived with that philosophy.
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        Jul 26 2013: I know you are pretty new here, Daniel. After awhile you get used to how people express themselves, and it gets easier.

        This has nothing to do with your IQ. In a community with people from all over the world and with experience in different social, educational, language, and professional contexts, you have to expect some challenges sometimes in understanding what people say and intend.
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    Jul 25 2013: If one doesn't feel something to be important to her/him no one can make it important to her/him .
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      Jul 25 2013: Can't they be made to realize, by a variety of means, that it is important to them, although they themselves don't realize it's important"
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        Jul 26 2013: Well it can be facilities by others by variety of means definitely but whether that point will be perceived or not to be important depends on one's own self. This is something like one can try to " motivate" someone , but finally the person herself / himself can only motivate her / him. That's what I feel.