The world is getting smaller, not by empirical standards of size, but in a metaphorical sense that we are becoming closer together by our mere exposure to one another. Advanced technology in its vast array of formats, as well as the ease of travel, has made the former achievable in rates once never believed possible. And so …one would think with all this exchange of information, either voluntarily solicited or through virtual promotion, we would embrace this unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of others.
Today I bring you the esteemed thinker: Kwame Anthony Appiah, (Born in London (1954) and grew up in Ghana) philosopher, cultural theorist, author, and Princeton University Professor. In his understanding of the world’s unique connection to each other, he ponders this concept and asks us to think about …“how individuals in a rapidly globalized world must balance the demands of cultural identity and shared humanity.” From a conversation in Examined Life: Excursions with contemporary thinkers, here are his words.
“ … we have to figure out how to live in a world in which our responsibilities are, not to just a hundred people with whom we can interact with and see, but to six or seven billion people whom we cannot see and whom we can affect only in indirect ways. And *cosmopolitanism for me is meant to be an answer to that challenge. It is meant to say you cannot retreat to the hundred. You can’t be partial to some tiny group and live out your moral life there; it’s simply not morally permissible. But you cannot abandon your local group either, because that would take you too far away from your humanity. So what we have to do is to learn how to do both.”
*For Appiah, cosmopolitanism asks individuals from varying locations to enter relationships of mutual respect despite their differing beliefs.