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MMI-MMC Cheat Sheet For The 21st Century Global Citizen: Three Dicey Global Issues That You Must Understand & Take A Stand on

Whether you are and entrepreneur launching your hustle. A creative collaborating with another mind domiciled yonder. A scientist part of a global health project. A user of social media; any 21st century global citizen doing their thing ought consider these three global issues: globalization, climate change and lBGT rights. These global issues lie at the bed of ideological hills and valleys that you need to navigate.

However, this is not always the case as discord is part and parcel of team dynamics. It is only when these disagreements are grave enough to lead to mental or emotional anguish in a part of society, that there is reason to act. Image | pubs.usgs.gov

Society is a creature whose existence is solely reliant on the presence of harmonious co-existence between its members. However, harmony remains a utopian ideal as discord is part and parcel of organizational dynamics. It is only when these disagreements are grave enough to lead to mental or emotional anguish in a part of society, that there is reason to act.

Social problems constitute a diverse body of events, conditions and attitudes that are generally accepted to be disruptive to societal bonds. In exploring this definition of social problems, it is worth investigating further evolution in the nature of social problems by investigating them through the prism of time.

Such a casual approach emanates from knowledge gained by sociologists over years which alludes to social norms and value systems -what is considered permissible in society and what is considered vile behavior- evolves with elapsing time.

Eureka! We’ve  just discovered ‘the new World’: Globalization & Inequality

Take the case of Brazil and South Africa, the 2010 and 2014 hosts of the FIFA World Cup- the most watched event  worldwide. An event unrivaled in its impact on society vide the emotions it generates and it goes without saying, the FIFA World Cup is in most regards a money spinner of some repute.

These two football mad southern hemisphere nations have made the ‘bubbling under’ spot in the global economic charts their own. They are emerging economies thanks in large parts to prudent government led initiatives such as the much lauded cash transfer programmer in Brazil and a liberal constitutional dispensation for South Africa. These nations have been earmarked for massive socioeconomic advances in the near future.

Not so long ago, a decade to be precise, before immediate former Brazilian president Lulu marched the football powerhouse into the hall of  global economic giants, Rio was infamous for its Favelas rather than as home to executive corner offices.

On the other side of the pacific, South Africa long burdened by its dark past of apartheid and xenophobia, was at best the ‘Okay’ place for a global entrepreneur to seed their money. An oasis in the otherwise Sahara-like business climate of Africa.

Not many cared much for doing business in these regions of the world. If coin was to find its way to Africa, South America Asia, it had to be charity and not business.

As it goes, with time and a host of events including the global economic meltdown of the late years of the first decade of the 21st Century; the coming to age of the information eon and what is now emerging as shrewd business by Chinese.

BRICS

The BRICS nations are the center of the money flows generated by the realignment of global finance by these players. China emerged as Africa’s main trade partner as curtains fell on the first decade of the 21st century. Moreover, liquidity in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa resulted in seismic changes as capital flowed south.

However, as manifest in Brazil and South Africa, as wealth increases, an unfortunate scenario has also grown in magnitude. In the leading lights of the forgotten societies of Latin America and Africa, trouble. Wealth has metamorphosed into a ‘new’ social problem: a widening wealth gap.

The poor in these societies, work the hardest, yet it is the already wealthy embarrassingly wealthy fiefdoms who lead these societies whose lives keep changing for the better.

Slum dog Millionaires

Hosting a world cup is like hosting a global economic forum. Only the swankiest locations with matching facilities fit for millionaires stand a chance. Don’t be mistaken, footballers who play in World Cups are not poor. It is all good until a splash of images from the Brazil and South Africa edition emerge. Stills that paint in 1000 words, worlds uglier than the backstage of a concert.

The shame of shanties next to multi-million dollar somewhat utilized state of the art stadiums. This story of injustice: less fortunate members of the society living in squalid conditions amidst the obscene wealth of the 21st Century is not alien to Johannesburg, Rio, Mumbai, Lagos or Nairobi.

It is the fate of cities of the world today. UN Habitat estimates that more than half of humanity will be living in urban set ups by mid-century. Sadly, it seems most will be residing in informal settlements.

Their World Cup

The tragedy of South Africa lies in how fast the jubilant tunes of Waka Waka – it is time for Africa-  have morphed into a resigned ‘It’s THEIR World Cup’ dirge. Said with a throw of the hand in the air dramatizing the deep-seated resentment, despair and hopelessness.

Here the third person, their, is in reference to the rich of yesterday now turned super rich. A select section of  society fortunate to continually posses the ability to exploit newly available economic opportunities. This, as  the majority poor remain economically handicapped by disease, ignorance and hunger.

Thus starved of opportunities, time seems to have made thieves, harlots and delinquents of the 2nd, 3rd generation global citizens. Descendants arising from a rich heritage of  proud farmers, herders and traders of yesteryear; as evidenced by ceiling high levels of a twin social problem to income inequality: crime.

Taking into consideration the bitter-sweet mix of  life of the aforementioned societies, You be the judge on whether time, with one hand gives ( the convenience of technology impacting positively on the gross domestic production of a society leading to better quality of life) and with the other time takes (crime and other forms of social delinquency).

Climate Change: Green House Emissions, Hybrid/ Electric Cars and a Sustainable Future

Today, regions south of the equator undergo a mini economic renaissance early in the 21st Century. In the last century, the northern hemisphere was accumulating the wealth it boasts of now. The industrial revolution was at  full vigor and coal- later on oil and other fossil fuels- were the standard forms of energy.


As recently as the 1960’s terms like green house gases emissions, climate change science made sense only to a smattering of outliers: eccentric professors and the likes. Even now, eminent 21st century global citizens like Jeffery Saachs don’t necessarily garner worldwide acclaim.

The concern then was on how best to mass manufacture dependable, sell-able cars rather than the talk of green technology, electric cars that appears to be the norm today in automobile manufacturing capitals of the world starting east with Toyota across Europe to Eminem’s home city of Michigan.

Though man is way off from the fate of the Javan Tiger, climate change scientists warn of a bleak future. Activists are adamant that if the trend is not retarded, extinction of species is likely. This could be the fate of tigers, black rhinoceros, Grevy’s zebra and polar bears. Moreover, the environmental impact of global warming has caused untoward suffering to members of the global society. Especially so for those residing in lesser developed nations.

Somalia Piracy

In exchange for a platter of jobs- as the global economy shifts production south to areas of cheap labor to maximize profit- time hands them [in lesser developed nations] a side dish of ever-increasing food prices; a situation  worsened by a widening global food deficit as climatic change takes its toll on land productivity.

The human old battle for resource continues to manifest itself as new forms of social problems in the 21st Century. An increasingly crowded planet underlies the majority of ongoing wars and conflicts. Some controversially argue that the pirates off the coast of Somalia are in some respects otherwise socially fit individuals struggling to cope with climate change.

Lads, 21st century global citizens, boxed into partaking this vile version of an 8 to 5. Then there are the lads who contest all this as bad science. Starting with the 44th President of The United States of America: Donald Trump. Enough said.

The LBGT ‘Problem’ : Is he 21st century global citizen bisexual?

In all cases, social problems arise out of conflicts in ideals. There could be no better example than in the issue of homosexuality.

 

Lady Gaga in a ‘Meat Dress’. won in protest against the controversial  ‘Don’t Ask Don’t tell’ Policy in the US Military. Unofficial stance that sought to be indifferent to gays and lesbians serving the military. A dithering that ended up being widely criticized in neo-liberal circles for being oppressive to the rights of LBGT community.

In days gone by, the church and government seemed to be reading from the same script. Homosexuality was considered an abomination both by the law of the land and by church doctrine. Society followed suit. It was not until 1973 when the American Association of Psychiatrists declassified homosexuality as a mental disease.

Moreover, over the years, governments have increasingly embraced liberal ideals. The recognition of gay marriages by law stands as a stack reminder. Some blame favorable depiction of gay unions in Hollywood. However, it can’t be denied that sections of the Christian community have abandoned old ideals to fly the rainbow flag.

Do these actions by a host of world governments and a section of  the religious community symbolize a  reconciliation of ideals ? Is this pro- gay rights movement a sign of a world that holds the rights of the individual sacred over all else? Conversely,  if art indeed mimics life,  are the actions of Hollywood, music stars and celebrities a depiction of the acceptable in society?

 

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