Saturday, July 28, 2018

WAYS YOU CAN DECREASE RISKS TO OUR GLOBAL VILLAGE COMMONS

My wife and I have a new neighbor. We met her at our neighborhood community center during an community event. Neighbors had decorated the place with their paintings, their nature photographs, videos and so on.

One exhibit really stood out. A collection of Liberian hand-made articles: a decorative hand-dyed cloth pieces, carved wooden utensils and a rice fanner. As a bit of an Africanist myself I thought, “Where / when did our new neighbor get this wonderful stuff?”

Right away, my wife and I invited the neighbor to our home to chat. We asked about her experience. She said that she and her then-young husband had entered Liberia as the very first Peace Corps posted there, ‘way back in 1961.

In that very year I was traveling in Sierra Leone and Liberia! We showed her our own collection of African crafts. Our new neighbor beamed with glee as we shared from our own lives in Sierra Leone and West Africa. When we met again a few days later she said, “That was wonderful. I felt like I was going home!” I thought: oh, the joys and fulfillment of living globally.



World Citizen Badge by DasRakel via Wikimedia Commons
License CC BY-SA 3.0
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The world is much more interconnected today than in the 1960s! Through travel and internet we’re living in a village: all the time and everywhere.

But the risks are high. For example, we the people want to keep our financials safe in the global village. When you use a card to buy, say, a doll or to make a political contribution, who’s accessing the data? What’s in place to keep internet thieves from draining money from the account?

You detect a credit card loss and call. “Oh,” says the card company rep., “so you did not order the $500 purchase of dishes from a shop in Finland?”

"The Oregonian" reports such a scam that nearly bankrupted a family. 

In 2018, the Year of the People, candidates for every level of political office must be aware of both the risks and rewards of the global village. Your elected officials must be about reducing all risks, not just financial, to you and your family. And how to increase the rewards. It’s a necessary qualification for office.

If you use an app to express a political opinion to a friend, is someone collecting that information without your permission? Why do they want it? How will they use it? You become uneasy, defensive and seek to cut your risks.

Any blogger understands. I post at least once, sometimes several times weekly on three or more networks. I may state a political opinion. On an audience tracker I’ve found that about half of my audience in certain days is sourced out of Russia. Say what!? Who in Russia wants to know my opinion and why? I feel like blogging no more for my own safety.

But I look back to an earlier era for a human value that justifies globalism. I find help in Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan in the Bible. It’s the story of someone reaching across a national boundary to help a foreigner. The lesson, per Jesus: foreigners are neighbors. For our day it means: be a good global neighbor. Check it out for yourself: Christian Bible, Luke 10: 29-37.  

I remain aware of risks, but I’m a globalist for life. Life so far would have given me fewer rewards had I not visited Africa and Europe several times. I love the global village feel. Granting that the risks are high, the rewards are great.

You’d be prudent to guard against the risks. In 2018, this election year and wherever you on this green globe, demand that candidates for public office be tuned in globally. It’ll increase your happiness.


  











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