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Lead with Respect

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ascall4
Words 2342
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Lead with respect, not with power.
Throughout my Global Lead experience, I learned a lot about what a global citizen is and how to become a better one. I also learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person and leader and also how I lead my life. I believe a global citizen is one who is aware of what is happening around the world; one who genuinely cares and is curious, and one who has the desire to help in any way possible. When I first arrived in Greece and we talked about being a mindful traveler, I realized that I had never even thought about that. I realized that even when people visit America, I am not mindful of their culture. My Global Lead experience really made me realize that I never really took the time to learn other cultures and what was happening outside the United States. The only things I really ever knew about other countries were the things that affected America. I wasn’t even aware that I was not being a global citizen. Being a global citizen means to be aware of things going on outside your country and to try and help in any way possible, even if it is something simple like supporting another countries product. The Greece culture is so beautiful and full of history. The people are so nice and courteous to visitors, especially us when we visited. Almost everyone there knew English, which really surprised me because I am not fluent in any other languages. The fact that pretty much everyone spoke our language showed me a good example of global citizenship and what its like to take your time to learn about other countries. There is a wide variety of other languages being spoken in America, today. Foreign exchange students, teacher assistants, professors, and businessmen are just some examples of people that I am surrounded with everyday that speak other languages, and I think I should lead with respect and take interest in their language rather than just expect them to know everything I say. Wanting to take action plays a big part in global citizenship to me, and I’ve learned that I can make a difference not by what power I hold, but by how I express what I believe in, my values, and my strengths.
During one of the first classes in Greece, we talked about the history in Greece. Hearing about this history, and actually seeing it during our many tours, like the Acropolis tour, showed me that Greece’s history is very important to the citizens there. They are openly proud of their history. In America, we have history, but our history is only a couple hundred years old. Greece’s history, historical ruins and temples go back thousands of years. The fact that they love their history so much and like to share their history’s stories shows me that their country’s history is a big part of their civic responsibility. In America, our civic responsibility is, like we talked about in the citizenship lecture, our human rights, like the right to vote, health, education, protection, the freedom of speech, the love for our country and many more. I found many similarities in Greece like their deep love for their country, their right to vote, and their right to have scheduled demonstrations protesting some governments’ decisions regarding the economic crisis. I also noticed unfamiliar things such as: not many policemen, no military or talk of any kind of army, and very little visible poverty. Due to the economic crisis going on in Greece right now, there were many people unemployed which has caused many to become homeless (The Invisible Tour). The economic crisis was taking a toll on the whole country and making many businesses suffer from rising unemployment and declining living standards (BBS News, 78). Even with all of this going on, the people I talked to were still dedicated to their country, and they were extremely courteous to us as visitors. They were grateful for us because we were from America and one local even said, “America has always supported us.” To me, my civic responsibility as an American citizen, besides my human rights, is to represent my country in a positive way and to demonstrate leadership by being respectful and appreciative for my country. When that Greece local told me that she was grateful, it gave me a proud feeling to be from America. Also, during Judy Boyle’s speech about the NO project and human trafficking, she talked a lot about spreading awareness and how people are putting on events and trying to reduce the amount of human trafficking going on around the world (Judy Boyle). During one of our classes in Crete, Pierce told us to write down something we wanted to do to make a difference and we got in groups depending on the overall theme of our big ideas. When I got in my group, I realized that a bunch of the girls from LSU all sort of had the same idea; we wanted to spread awareness for the NO project around our campus. Talking about this and sharing ideas, I sat back and observed everyone. Everyone was so passionate about this, just like I was, and our country allowed us to do something about this issue with the freedom of speech, and it made me really grateful. These ideas also reminded me of civic responsibility in a way because we all felt like it was our responsibility to help make our country, and others, safer and more aware of this problem. I feel as if bettering our country, even with just spreading the word of a major issue like human trafficking, is part of my civic responsibility. I don’t have to be a part of the government or a major leader in my country to make a difference.
Throughout my journey, I learned what my true values and beliefs were. Coming into this trip, I knew what I believed in and what values I led my life with, but this trip made me look deeper into my beliefs and values than I ever would have thought. I learned that I am very passionate about my religious beliefs, and that my faith in God is what gets me through everything in my life good or bad. I really realized this when I met one of my, now, best friends on the trip. She is also very passionate about her beliefs, and we would share our beliefs with one another and have deep conversations about how our faith has gotten us through some hardships in our lives. Maria, from the Salvation Army, said things about how she just thanked God for leading her where she was now, which made me realize that I live my life trusting in Him and His path for me. I have also realized my true values and their meanings. When I first looked at the list of values, it was unbelievably hard to pick only three out and then narrow them down to one (Values). Once I did narrow them down to just one, though, I realized that I really did live my life through that value, zest (Values). I have lived my life thus far with just a positive outlook on everything, a positive attitude, happy energy, and with the attitude to just live life to the fullest everyday. I live everyday with many values like open-mindness, honesty, equilibrium, beliefs, and many more, but I realized that zest is a huge value I really think about all the time. Now looking back at my trip, I really did try and live everyday to the fullest and with a positive and exciting energy. I did things I would have never even imagined I would come close to doing whether it was bungee jumping off the Corinth Canal or holding a huge Boa Constrictor, I did them all knowing that I would regret not facing my fears and taking every opportunity if I didn’t do them. I truly tried to put everything I had into the classes, tours, and just everything this trip offered me and I am so glad I did. Listening to the man speak on The Invisible Tour about his hopes and dreams, the whole experience just showed me how great of an attitude he has about his life no matter what hardships he faces. That man truly had an impact on me and how I look at my life. He taught me that life is more than materialistic things and what “class” you are ranked. He taught me to be grateful for everything I have, my family and friends, or even just the ability to look at someone in the eyes and have a conversation with them (The Invisible Tour). The Invisible Tour also brought to my attention my value of open-mindness and judgment. I have always believed it is not right to judge people that I don’t know and that I should have an open mind towards anything that comes my way in life. During the tour, our tour guide made me realize that the stereotype of “the homeless” was wrong. No one would have ever known that our tour guide was homeless if it wasn’t for him telling us his story. People these days are so quick to judge others, and that is something I have always tried to be conscious of. I think this tour really made me realize how aware of it I try to be because everyone is equal in this world and everyone deserves to be treated that way no matter what they look like or wear. I believe that my Global Lead journey didn’t really change my values or beliefs, but it magnified them and gave them names such as: zest. Although many of the values compliment each other and I do believe I live my life with more than one or three of the values on the list, it was neat to see words put with my thoughts. I have always had strong beliefs and values, but I have never known a specific name for them. I just knew what they were without putting them into words, but I think that seeing them put into words and definitions really helped me realize how deep and important my beliefs and values are to me in my life. Through people I have met and spoken to, as well as the lectures, I have learned a deeper and wider aspect of my beliefs and values and what they truly are.
My journey also really opened my eyes to things that are happening in the world today that I would have never believed and made me want to be a better global citizen for when I returned home. Judy Boyle from the NO Project really got to me when she talked about how there are little kids that are enslaved into manufacturing companies that make products that I buy everyday like chocolate (Judy Boyle). I am a huge chocolate lover and Judy’s talk really opened my eyes to make sure that I buy fair-trade chocolate to ensure that poor little kids did not have to slave in the making of one single piece of chocolate. I believe that it is my duty, as a global citizen, to be aware and even spread the awareness of fair-trade products. I really want to spread awareness around LSU’s campus about fair-trade; even try to get only fair-trade products sold on campus. Another thing I am going to do to become a better global citizen is keep updated on what is going on around the world. I am going to watch the news more and take an interest in other countries. I would also love to look into programs that help kids living in poverty and try and help in any way I can, even if it is donating a couple of dollars a month. After reading “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story”, I realized that what she said about people stereotyping her at the mention of her saying she was from Africa is very accurate. Any person that doesn’t “look” American I feel like are automatically stereotyped by where they are from no matter if they know that person or not. I really want to be conscious of this when meeting new people from other places and not stereotype them based on their country. I know that when we were in Greece we were stereotyped the moment we landed. We talked in Dr. Shannon’s lecture about being stereotyped as “ugly Americans” (Ugly Americans Lecture). The fact that there was a stereotype called that towards us really made me sad, and it made me want to prove that not all Americans behave that way. This is another way I feel like I can be a global citizen here at home, by not stereotyping people right away.
As you can see, I have really learned a lot about myself and how I want to lead my life. Through my values, strengths, and personal experiences on this trip, I have realized that I can make difference. I don’t have to be a major leader of any kind or have a lot of power, but if I lead with respect towards everyone, myself, and what I believe in, I can make a difference no matter what.

Work Cited:
Blue Book. "Eurozone Crisis Explained." BBC News (27 Nov. 2012): 76-78. Web. 6 June 2015.
Blue Book. "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story, TED Global 2009." (n.d.): 90-94. Print.

Invisible Tour. 8 June 2015.

Judy Boyle. “NO Human Trafficking.” 9 June 2015.

Blue Book. Values of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Pg. 165.

Blue Book. Core Values. Pg. 206.

Pierce Persons lecture: “Needs in Your Community and Global Leadership.” 23 June 2015.
Shannon Dean lecture: “History of Greece.” 2 June 2015.
Sutton, Susan. Greek Culture. Pg.17-26

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