Growing up in a sheltered community, I was never truly exposed to global issues as a child. Topics such as politics and international relations were not often touched at my dinner table, either.

But I began to navigate my public school career, I realized that I was not alone in my situation. There were so many kids who were just like me who were not exposed to global events. Maybe less than five percent of the entire class could name the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and even less would be aware of the extreme gender discrimination that attack girls in Guatemala.

Although I grew up in this “bubble” of indifference towards the global community, I am slowly becoming a more and more global student. For me, here are the top reasons why I (and youth everyone) should care about global issues:

  • Globalization is on the rise. In this day and age, one country can not survive without another, and this simple principle affects everyone on the globe. It is likely that one day, you will become friends with someone who speaks an entirely different language or grew up in an entirely different culture. These people may even be your future co-workers. If you want to be able to foster deeper connections and broaden your network, understanding global issues and other cultures is key.
  • Global issues are your issues, too. Let’s talk about the situation of adolescent girls in Guatemala again. Did you know that more than 2 million girls in Guatemala do not attend school due to social boundaries? If you believe in gender equality, you can understand why the fight of rights of women in other countries is part of your fight for gender equality, too. Dare to expand your horizons by learning about the issues you believe in fighting for- in an entirely different country.
  • While one country can not survive without another, one person can not survive without another either. Giving back or volunteering in your community can give you invaluable experiences. But if you extend your service to the entire world, there is no telling what amazing differences you will be able to make. Understanding global issues and further using your talents to help solve these issues will not only make you a more sensible and well-rounded person; it will help the world take one step closer towards a brighter future.

What drives you to care about global challenges? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!