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A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD: JEROME TEELUCKSINGH, Ph.D.

In July 2008, then presidential candidate of the USA, Barack Obama, speaking in Germany, referred to himself as ‘a fellow citizen of the world.’ How many of us can claim to be a citizen of our world? What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? Being a citizen of the world means implies a common bond with humanity. It means you are affected by positive and negative developments in any part of the world. As a citizen of the world you have a responsibility to bridge the divide between developed and developing countries. If we were all citizens of the world then there would be an absence of bigotry and xenophobia. This means that as a citizen of the world you do not display religious fanaticism, extreme nationalism and hatred of immigrants. International Men’s Day hopes to be the passport that will guarantee you global citizenship in a global village.

Volunteers and well-wishers of International Men’s Day are devising strategies and creating a global community that is more collaborative and less aggressive. International Men’s Day is not a top-down movement. It has spread from the bottom-up and maintained its growth among the grass-roots. International Men’s Day has challenged those who negatively view males, it has challenged stereotypes of males and females and challenged those who have trivialized the role of boys and men. IMD is poised to challenge history.

Two of the popular slogans in President Obama’s election campaign were ‘Change we can believe in’ and ‘Yes we can.’ These are relevant in the worldwide campaign to spread the message of IMD. The question we must ask ourselves- Is International Men’s Day creating permanent, positive change that we can believe in? When facing disappointments of small audiences or criticisms in promoting and observing IMD, you must think of those 3 words that gave hope to millions of Americans, overcame barriers and electrified huge crowds- ‘Yes we can.’

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