Hearing from Dr. Perucci during this week’s RGLP session was a welcome lesson on what it means to be a Global Citizen and Leader, and what it means to have Global Consciousness.
Dr. Perucci challenged us students to think in a globally conscious mindset. That means taking our preconceptions of what certain actions may mean as they apply to our culture and leaving them “at the door” as we step into situations where we encounter cultures other than our own. To be perfectly frank, that was quite difficult to do. When we watched an example of a culture act out a ritual, it required a lot of rethinking of power dynamics and ritual significance that I’ve inherited from living in a solely Western culture my entire life. Even then, I found myself struggling to grasp the significance of the events before me. In this, Dr. Perucci challenged us to develop a Global Consciousness.
In his presentation, Dr. Perucci also spoke of how our world is drastically changing, right under our own feet. Cultures that would never have interacted with each other 100 years ago are now changing as a result of interaction with one another. He questioned whether the Westphalian system would be around any longer, and whether our cultures would begin to evolve and adapt to this changing world. On this he received a lot of push back from students (myself being one of them), but in my conversation with him afterwards I began to wonder whether we had misunderstood what he was saying. During our conversation, he asked me whether I wanted to be a Global Leader. When I said that I wasn’t sure I did, he pushed back, arguing that a Global Leader is not a famous individual solving international crises or winning Nobel Peace Prizes (necessarily), but someone who engages issues on a global scale. This definition helped enlighten much of what he said to me. With modern technology, we can see problems that existed around the world that we were blind to. As a Global Leader, your job is to engage that issue, wherever it is, and help solve the problem at hand. To do that, however, you must view yourself as a Global Citizen, and to truly be a Global Citizen, you must have a Global Consciousness.
I appreciated Dr. Perucci’s lesson. It challenged much of the way that I see our world today, and the problems it has. I hope that I can develop a Global Consciousness to better contribute to our world today.
- Submitted by Josh Alexakos '17, a participant in the 16F Rockefeller Global Leadership Program