Program participant Fumiya Otani delivered this powerful speech both at the students’ final presentation in Japan and at their final presentation in DC.
It has always been my goal to be a global citizen who has an excellent command of English, works actively in foreign countries, and has abundant knowledge of the world. Throughout the program, my idea of the qualities required of “global citizens” became clear.
I believe they are the following 3 Cs; Connection, Communication, and Consideration.
First, Connection. It is definitely important for us to establish human network with people all over the world using communication tools. However, it is even more important to have a keen sense of being connected to others, not only to humans but also to nature. We can’t live out our lives in isolation. We feed on other lives, we support other lives. We insist on protecting nature, but we should never “exploit” nature. Global citizens must grasp that we are not living on Nature, we are living with Nature.
Next, Communication is an indispensable point. By communication, I mean not only conversation skills for success in global business. It is not the language skill to win others in competition but communication for co-existence. True communication is based on deep understanding of one another. It is possible only when people accept differences and respect different characters as they のare. Whatever differences we may have, in this great universe they are just a trifle.
Last but not least, Consideration is an essential factor in globalization. It is time to break away from distorted nationalism and show patriotism toward our planet. Kenji Miyazawa, who is one of the most famous writers in Iwate, said, “Personal happiness cannot exist until the whole world is happy.” We have gone through disasters and tragedies, both natural and man-made. The Great East Japan Earthquake and the added nuclear disaster did great damage to the Tohoku and its people. However, that tragedy couldn’t destroy the mind of people based on 3Cs and connected with each other.
During this program we faced a lot of difficulties. However, we’ve overcome these obstacles by taking idea of 3Cs. So now, we are like family of TOMODACHI more than just friends. Our journey to becoming a global citizen has just started. We’ll always remember the three C qualities and keep challenging ourselves until the moment the world becomes one. Yes, We ARE the future of this planet.
Fukuoka Senior High School