Global Knowledge Leads to Compassion for Third-World People

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C. As a prospective 21st-century college graduate, you will enter a workforce and live in a society with an increasingly global perspective. How will your current knowledge of international issues and cultures influence your undergraduate study.

My current knowledge of international issues and cultures has influenced me and will influence me most in terms what course of study I will take in my undergraduate years. And through that, it will influence what kind of work I will be involved in after I graduate.

Having lived in the comforts of a Singaporean lifestyle for almost two decades, and having been brought up in their creativity-stifling education, I could have missed out attaining any ‘global perspective’ on things. But the advent of the Internet made connection with the global world possible. Another major source of my attaining a ‘global perspective’ has been the books (which are internationally traded) I have read.

It was about 6 months ago that I read the book “Gaviotas – a village to reinvent the world” by Alan Weisman. Gaviotas is a village in Columbia. With the help of funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a group of Colombian visionaries created a village amidst the political turmoil and in one of the most brutal environments imaginable. They succeeded and their story has been a great inspiration to me. In fact, it was after reading that book that I started learning the Spanish language. From then on, I fell in love with Latin America and this love has been steadily increasing over the past few months.

Global perspective – of understanding the different nations, international issues and cultures around the world – has awakened me to a clearer view of the need around the world – a world beyond the comfort zone of Singapore. It has given me a love for different races (especially the Latinos) and a burden to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in third-world countries.

When you look beyond your comfortable surroundings into the global world, you start to examine life’s purpose. When there are such great needs around the world and you live a pretty good life, you start to question whether life is merely about what the advertisers and false-needs creators tell us. Is life all about money and getting richer and being more materialistic? Is the bottom-line always the bottom-line? Or is there more meaning to life than that?

These are questions I ask myself as I come face to face with international issues. Because of my encounter with the global world and its needs, I have found new purpose and passion in life. I hope to study either Economics or Political Science. I see a need to understand both of these subjects if I am to become helpful to the third-world countries.

Eventually, it is my dream to work a few years somewhere in Latin America and continue to give my life to seeing an improvement and development in third-world countries.

I have always believed in education. Developing a global perspective and an understanding of international issues comes through education – for me it was personal education through reading. Therefore, I hope also to be involved in educating people in future. I will probably pursue a post-graduate degree. One day I hope to return to Singapore and educate my fellow Singaporeans on the great need around the world – to let them know that there is a world beyond their borders and that they can be part of giving the world hope.

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