In Sight

3 Elements of Global Citizenship

From SGI President Ikeda's lecture at Teachers College, Columbia University on June 13, 1996.

SGI President Ikeda has held dialogues with leading thinkers and educators around the world in an effort to build inroads to peace. He outlines three conditions for global citizenship in his June 13, 1996, lecture at Teachers College, Columbia University, titled “Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship.” They are:

  • The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life and living.
  • The courage not to fear or deny difference, but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures, and to grow from encounters with them.
  • The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends to those suffering in distant places.

“Over the past several decades, I have been privileged to meet and converse with many people from all walks of life, and I have given the matter some thought. Certainly, global citizenship is not determined merely by the number of languages one speaks or the number of countries to which one has traveled. I have many friends who could be considered quite ordinary citizens but who possess an inner nobility; who have never traveled beyond their native place, yet who are genuinely concerned for the peace and prosperity of the world.” (SGI President Ikeda, My Dear Friends in America, third edition, pp. 444)