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I blog about my Catholic faith, my prayer life, good books and good movies.

Be a Citizen of the World

Abigail Benjamin

Today is the day to commit to becoming a Citizen of the World.

Have you ever read a newspaper story from the Economist or the Times (from London, not New York)? Today is the day.

Do you know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites? Today is the day to look it up.

Can you quote a poem from a different language?

Do you know 5 species of bird in your State? Can you identify them by sound?

Do you know that cookies were invented in Persia? Or that Alexander the Great was instrumental in spreading sugar cane?

Can you bake a scone? Cherry Pie? Humuus? Sticky rice?

Would your Grandma recognize with a smile any small piece of your morning routine?

(Do you even have a morning routine? Or is every day a blurry shuffle to get a million tasks ton in a tiny amount of time?)

Yesterday, the United Kingdom voted itself out of the European Union. Today, David Cameron gave his resignation as the Prime Minister of Britian. I'm an American who spent 6 months in living in London 20 years ago.  Now I live in a small town in Appalachia. My life is spent taking multiple kids to the dentist and trying to not get overwhelmed by the summer ants that suddenly appeared in my kitchen.

Yet I'm concerned that the brash rhetoric of anti-immigration feelings from the American Presidential Election is also reflected in the isolation of Britain leaving the European Union. We are becoming a world that loves to build walls around our borders and walls around our hearts.

Today is the day that I slow down. Today is the day that I stop letting my tiredness and rushing around make me contribute panic, rather than peace, to our already fractured world. Today is the day that I commit to be a Citizen of the World. 

I love my Catholic faith. I love my American culture. I love my family. I love my homeland. Becoming a world citizen means celebrating the unique things that make my home uniquely mine.

Yet I always want to leave more space to meet and greet the whole world inside my home, my mind and my heart. Our common human dignity is at stake. Carpe diem! Today is the day to be a Citizen of the World!