I used to think that being "globally minded" was the important thing. I would stress the need to open ourselves to other people and cultures, and discover our interconnectedness. I would encourage accepting our responsibility to care for and advocate for our brothers and sisters around the world.
I still believe global awareness, appreciation, and respect are important, yet over the past few years I've come to discover the importance of local. I mean, to be global without being local is to have your head in the clouds without your feet on the ground. In a pragmatic way, you can only be as global as you are local—doing real things with real people in real places while understanding their global implications. Becoming locally involved also provides insights on the elements of any healthy community around the world. (To clarify-- I don't see those insights or elements as a blueprint to be replicated exactly. Contextual and cultural difference should be honored in each community.)
In the spirit of the KF's August 20th event: Think Globally, Move Locally, I want to hear what your neighborhood celebrates and values: What are the unique local things that your neighborhood is known for? What are sources of pride for your neighborhood or city?
To get the conversation started, I'll speak to our Seattle KF Office in Greenlake...
A food or two? On a warm summer afternoon, our staff has indulged at Gelatiamo, the gelato shop around the corner. Beyond Greenlake, trekking to nearby Fremont to sample Theo chocolate at their factory is a worthy quarterly outing. : )
A geographic marker/hike/adventure? Greenlake itself-known for speedwalking moms with strollers, fancy Frisbee spinners in the park, and some of the most competitive outdoor basketball in the city. It's a place of meeting/play, and a nice 3 mile stroll. We had a wonderful picnic a week ago with Colleagues.
Something else? A type of music/band or instrument? / Something of historic significance?/ Something with cult-worthy appeal?
Whether your neighborhood is Brooklyn, Boulder, or Bombay... what aspects of local life are you loving? What are your neighbors most proud of?
To read one Krista Colleague's thoughtful consideration of being local while in global service, read Nathan Brouwer's article from The Global Citizen.