What does global mind mean?
For me, a global-minded person is someone who knows about different cultures, beliefs, challenges for people, and the planet and how each decision has an impact on others all over the world.
Global mindedness sums up important characteristics we want our children to nourish, such as curiosity, open-mindedness, empathy, and embracing differences (instead of just tolerating them). It is the foundation for making a difference in the world, and for succeeding in the interconnected world of the 21st-century. And it gives our children a sense of place and being grounded in their own home.
It is easy to spot a child with a global mind. Look out for the following signs:
- Asks to join his classmate at fasting during the school day to make observing his Diwali traditions easier for him.
- Makes a point at the lunch table at school that playing with and wasting food is not okay. (while the old generation only learned that it is disrespectful considering how many kids don’t have anything to eat, global kids also know the impact growing food and disposing of food has on the environment).
- Would never stick her chopsticks into a bowl of rice.
- Is friends with kids from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds.
- Gets offended by someone making jokes about her friend who is wearing modest wear for swim class.
- Eats foods from around the world like Falafel, Dosa, Chow Mei, and Cannoli and tries new foods whenever she gets a chance.
- Carries a reusable water bottle around and makes significant efforts to avoid single-use plastics.
- Asks, “What do Buddhists believe in?” (Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindi, Mormons).
- Reads books with plots that play in other countries.
- She knows where she originates, the society she belongs to, and the past of the community she lives in.
If we succeed in fostering global minds in our children, we’ll give them a chance for a bright future in which they make a difference for people and the planet. Raising globally-minded kids starts at home and does not require traveling the world (although that undoubtedly helps).
Constanze Niedermaier is the founder and CEO of Whyzz, a company that develops online and offline tools for young global citizens. As a mom and global citizen herself, she feels positive that we need to raise globally-minded kids by educating them from an early age about the world, how everything in it is interrelated, and by instilling in them the belief that they can and should make a difference. For more information, visit whyzz.com