ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - April 29, 2021 - 12:00am

The pandemic has devastated the entire world. The economic, social, and psychological consequences cannot be underestimated. And if some countries have already begun vaccination, there are still others that are far from achieving herd immunity. In the Philippines, for example, immunization is lagging behind the rapidly rising number of Covid cases.

Many organizations and cause-oriented groups have taken steps to alleviate the suffering of Filipinos. Also, in small ways, these organizations have contributed their time and money to meet the needs of others.

But the issue now is when will they be able to sustain their initiatives. Will it be worth it if resources were depleted to the point of exhaustion? How about their energy? Is there a point at which they'll be fully exhausted? These are questions for which we will have answers in the coming weeks or months.

Other countries, on the other hand, have activated their roles and responsibilities as brothers and sisters to others on a larger scale. Regardless of geographical distance, religious convictions, or ethnic affiliation, countries pledge to support other countries in desperate need of assistance.

The assistance takes the form of vaccine donations as well as machinery and equipment for mass vaccine development. The United States of America, for example, which ranks first in terms of Covid casualties but is effective in its vaccination program, has pledged to assist India, which ranks second and has seen a drastic increase in cases. Their Covid victims need immediate medical attention.

Our country has been receiving support from other countries, especially from China and the United States, hopefully with the pure intentions. With the notion that we are inextricably linked to one another, there is no such thing as an isolated individual or nation. We may be of certain beliefs, from a particular nation or ethnic group, but we travel and communicate with people of other races, and as a result, we become global citizens.

The concept of global citizenship is based on this. We should be mindful of and comprehend the larger world, as well as our position within it. We participate actively in our society and collaborate with others to make our world a more peaceful, sustainable, and equitable place.

Global citizenship is all about inspiring young people to cultivate the awareness, skills, and values they'll need to connect with the rest of the world. It's all about believing that each of us can make a difference.

For our young people, the benefits of global citizenship can be felt in terms of developing their own view of world affairs, as well as thinking about their beliefs and what matters to them. They apply what they've learned in the classroom to real-life situations. They speak out against ignorance and intolerance. They participate in their local, national, and global communities, forming arguments and expressing their viewpoints. They eventually realize that they have the ability to act and affect the world around them.

Let us all be a source of joy for others. Let us be the motivation for someone to feel loved and to believe in people's goodness. And, in the midst of the pandemic, we expect to experience more than we thought. We need compassion more than machinery; we need goodness and gentleness more than cleverness. Life will be violent without these values, and all will be lost.

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