An interesting conversation was sparked here at biehus around a person’s ability and/or obligation to understand the needs of the broader global community.
Some people are of the opinion that an individual’s greatest opportunity for true impact is likely to be had in service within his or her own community. For people who align themselves with this way of thinking, it is thought that taking the time to understand and serve one’s own neighbors will likely result in the greatest good.
Others are of the opinion that an individual is a citizen of the world and therefore is morally obligated to consider the broader global community’s needs, not just those of their neighbors. For people who align themselves with this way of thinking, it is thought that taking the time to understand and serve one’s global community will likely result in the greatest good.
These positions need not be mutually-exclusive. However, the place one falls on the spectrum between these two world views may inform his or her practices. Should all people strive to think globally and act locally? Or think globally and act globally? Or think locally and act locally? Is one a fundamentally better practice than another? Is it possible that there are different people with different gifts who are called to serve in different ways?
A woman at a local church shared that she responds to this question with a prayer: “Lord, what is mine to do?” How do others respond to this question?