Friday, July 25, 2008

A citizen of the world

McCain and Obama have a different world view and who is chosen to be our next president will face a world that has changed in the last decade at a speed none of us saw coming; yet, our world view tends to stay the same.

When Barack Obama addressed the world in Berlin, he spoke as a citizen of the world, with concerns for the entire globe and its problems. He connected present and past history and challenged the Europeans as well as his compatriots to view the world as interrelated.

We'll all gain if we look at solutions and options rather than maintain rancors and old beliefs. Barack Obama has challenged us to go the distance, to work at solutions together, because one country's ills and problems will touch us all.

We can begin the conversation in our towns and we can carry it to the entire world with one hit on the computer, instantly communicating in multiple languages to a world that is not confined by national borders. When we sit down at dinner tonight, enjoying the Alaskan salmon, the California wine, the Chilean mango salsa, the Mexican salad mix and the Italian biscotti, we need the assurance that our food is safe, the environment was not harmed, and no human being was abused.

We can't ignore health issues around the world. We can't ignore human rights and labor issues. We can't ignore poverty, hunger and lack of education. These issues will harm us in ways we can't even assess.

Finally, our future leaders must have the sensitivity and awareness that match the challenges in our world.

And, as we look at the Olympic ceremony in the smog and pollution of Bejing's environment, we will all be reminded that the conversation should always been about global consequences.

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