Do you consider yourself a citizen of your town/city? Maybe you consider yourself a citizen of your state or your country.

I like to think of myself more as a citizen of the Earth. For thousands of years it was so easy for humans to think of themselves as a citizen of a town because people didn’t travel far. Maybe for the odd war or campaign but for the most part, people stayed put.

Now that the world is so much more connected and something that would happen on the other side of the world could affect me I am inclined to think of myself as a citizen of humanity.

Why is this important?

It is easy for us to think of only the things that surround us. When we get caught up in our own world we tend to think that the most important thing of the day is what to have for dinner or what to wear, even if one kicks it up a notch it might be about how to pay for gas until the end of the week or how to stretch out a food budget until pay day. Focusing on the day to day is plenty to keep anyone occuppied. So, what if we thought of ourselves at citizens of Earth or humanity? What would that mean? As an american that would mean that you would be in the top 10 % of wealth in the world. It also greatly expands the neighborhood, and by that I mean, it re-defines who your neighbor is.

 As a citizen of the world, that means you have a lot more responsibility. Everyone is your neighbor and therefore, your responsibility.  It’s difficult sometmes to even take care of our local neighbors. I try to take care of others as I help someone out when they don’t have enough gas money for the week, or I take their family a dinner when a loved one has passed away or when I spend time with a frazzled mom or coach a woman in my life and assist her to find the good in herself but there is always more. I have to go beyond that though. I have to be a citizen of the world and help take care of my brothers and sisters in the whole world. I’m not exactly sure how to do all that but I’m sure if I look for it, it’s there. I can sponsor a child in another country to contribute to their education or their health, I can buy a llama for a farmer in South America, I can give shoes to the church collection that goes over seas to kids with no shoes. When I think in a world view it’s easier for me to think about spending $50 on 2 pairs of shoes for a child who has none or I could spend it at the grocery store on snacks for my family that they really don’t need. Which one will have a more profound meaning?

I mean really, my life is comfortable. Even at the point where sometimes, maybe at the end of a paycheck it was uncomfortable or even at the point where I didn’t know where I was going to live, I still had more than most citizens of the world. I have much more than most people do now in the world. I have a healthy family, all the basics and a little more. The more I think about it, the less I want “stuff” and the more I desire to be a contribution to this world. I have been a consumer for long enough, it’s time for me to give back. There are so many whose lives are uncomfortable every minute of every day.

How can you contribute? Find your brand of contribution. Imagine if we all did that… Imagine.