GMAT : Analysis of An Issue

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An Issue

40. With the increasing emphasis on a global economy and international cooperation, people need to understand that their role as citizens of the world is more important than their role as citizens of a particular country.


Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and / or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.


With the growth of the global economy and the need for international cooperation, every human being has assumed a role as citizen of the world. Does this mean that our roles as citizens of our respective nations are thereby superseded by our role as world citizens as the speaker suggests? Not at all. Good citizenship at one level is often compatible with good citizenship at another. In fact, being a good citizen in one social domain can help one be a better citizen in another.

Good global citizenship is not incompatible with good citizenship at other levels. Consider, for example, one's efforts as a citizen to preserve the natural environment. One particular person might, for example: (1) lobby legislators to enact laws preserving an endangered redwood forest, (2) campaign for nationally- elected officials who support clean air laws, and (3) contribute to international rain forest preservation organizations. This one person would be acting consistently as a citizen of community, state, nation and world.

Admittedly, conflicting obligations sometimes arise as a result of our new dual citizenship. For example, a U.S. military official with an advisory role in a United Nations peace-keeping force might face conflicting courses of action one that would secure U.S. military interests and another that would better serve international interests. However, the fact that such a conflict exists does not mean that either action is automatically more obligatory - that is, that one's role as either U.S. citizen or world citizen must invariably supersede the other. Instead, this situation should be resolved by carefully considering and weighing the consequences of each course of action.

Moreover, being a good citizen in one social context can often help one be a better citizen in another. For example, volunteering to help underprivileged children in one's community might inspire one to work for an international child-welfare organization. And inculcating civic values - such as charity and civic pride - may give rise to personal traits of character that transfer to all social domains and contexts.

In sum, although our dual citizenship may at times lead to conflicts, one role need not automatically take precedence over the other. Moreover, the relationship between the two roles is, more often than not, a complementary one and can even be synergistic.

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