Young people be self-respecting to be global citizen: Professor

Professor Phan Van Truong shared that to become a global citizen, young people should be self-respecting. Self-respect needs to be the foundation so that everyword is a commitment. Once people have self-respect, they will know how to keep their word and follow the “rules of the game” of society.

Professor Phan Van Truong believes that people who are global citizens have an attitude and responsibility towards society, respecting everyone, first of all, respecting themselves. (Photo: WVR)

People don't have to have good command of foreign languages to become global citizen

Concerning the skills necessary for young Vietnamese, especially Gen Z, to develop themselves and compete with international youth, Professor Truong mentioned the need to adjust the attitude.

According to Professor Truong, generation Z in Vietnam is extremely keen, intelligent, agile and studious. What they have to change and adjust is the attitude in life and to understand that they must know how to use intelligence to analyze and classify issues to solve problems with systematic thinking.

Currently, the most lacking of Gen Z is that very few of young people have mastered systematic thinking. When they learn systematic thinking, they have to make question at taking every step and connecting the ideas. They have to use the intelligence to make reasoning and connecting linkages to bring out results and convince others about their findings.

If having determination but without systematic thinking, it will be difficult to convince their findings. The education which still has a lot of demand for memorization will hinder children's own creativity.

Profession Truong pointed out a number of criteria to become a global citizen.

Being a global citizen meant that person must be a "citizen" first, before thinking about "global". It is difficult to define this concept based on material criteria.

As the philosopher Socrates said: "I am not a citizen of Athens or Greece alone, but a citizen of the whole world".

To become global citizen, we must love the planet, love humanity, love animals, love the environment... Many young people think that there are many requirements, but it is not necessary to know foreign languages, work here and there for becoming a global citizen.

To integrate into a multicultural environment, young people have to come out from their shell and don’t create barriers for themselves.

Now, as national borders are increasingly blurred, the wave of mobilities is taking place across the globe. On the other hand, the world is run on principles that if you follow them, then whoever you are, you will have a place.

Therefore, young people must be more confident. However, in that confidence, you must study and think constantly. In this context, our country must become strong.

It can be said that, besides the Vietnam’s favorable factors of location and potentials, Vietnamese people have the ability to absorb new tendencies and make progress very quickly. That is something to be proud of.

Professor Truong gave the advice on how young people to understand their own strengths and highlight their identity in the international community.

According to him, everyone can become global citizen and take responsibility for building the world. People have to be responsible and live peacefully and harmoniously with that community.

In the book “Global citizen, space citizen” that Professor Truong just released, he clearly stated that global citizens have different portraits. However, they also have one thing in common that they are very self-respecting.

According to the Professor, to become global citizen, you should be self-respecting. Self-respect is the foundation on which every word is a commitment. When people have self-esteem, they will know how to keep their word and the rules of the game of society.

Each person, each nation, each region, each country has its own sacred mission. It is the mission and the implementation of the mission will create a global citizen.

Lessons learned from action of picking up trash

In Professor Truong’s perspective, global citizenships meant to have a culture, not a degree that requires studying this, learning that or taking an exam to become a global citizen.

In fact, global citizenship is an attitude, a lifestyle to serve and to live more responsibly, more self-respecting and to be kinder. At the same time, they are people who must pay attention to global issues, have a broad view and do not discriminate against any culture, willing to share their knowledge.

Professor Truong still remembered his conversation with high school students in Bac Giang. When he asked children to apply the first principle of global citizen, which meant that each week they would pick up a piece of trash paper and put it in the trash bin. However, instead of excitedly replying, the faces of the young people seemed confusing.

He told them, “I do it every minute of my life. You find it difficult because you have never done it before. There was even paper in the bag that was thrown on the ground”. “Why do I ask you to do this? Because this is the first principle that a global citizen needs to learn that is to love the planet, where they live. If each person only threw a piece of paper, the earth would become a "garbage planet".

That's the first lesson young people need to understand before dreaming of bigger things.

Professor Truong gave his answears to the question how should young Vietnamese people learn about development trends and take advantage of opportunities to develop themselves.

According to Professor, a lot of people have already become global citizens without realizing it. Don’t think of global citizen as having to speak a lot of foreign languages, travelling to many countries or having two or three passports, or many accounts in international banks.

A person is a global citizen when he/she has a responsible attitude towards society and humanity, respecting everyone, first of all, respecting himself/herself.

Therefore, there are many rich tycoons who are not global citizens. In contrast, there are many farmers who are still global citizens. Because, they don’t lie to people, being genuine people. They are honest farmers who grow their crops on organic soil, do not use chemical fertilizers, don’t do anything to harm others. They also don't do things prohibited by the law.

They love their products, cherish their customers, and appreciate traditional culture.

Whatever you do, doing it with morality

The trend of integration has helped young Vietnamese people easily and quickly access new sources of knowledge. In this context, Professor Truong gave his genuine advice to young people.

Professor Phan Van Truong advises young people to take advantage of opportunities and have morality in whatever they do. (Photo: WVR)

According to him, everyone's success will be different, but in general it will be based on a few principles. Firstly, if doing anything it must be done wholeheartedly to the end, not just merely getting things done. Getting things merely done is a “dead mindset”.

Second, young people never think about money first when working. Because, when you work with your own enthusiasm, there will be good outcomes and money will come. Moreover, just thinking about money will not help you digging deeper in work, nor can you fully explore your own potential.

Third, when embarking on anything, do it your best. This effort is making value for each person. Because the "thickness or thinness" of each individual is due to their own efforts.

Fourth, there are actually many opportunities for each person, however, along with opportunities are challenges. The opportunity is really a challenge when you do your work. However, after getting done, you will be dully appreciated and given more opportunies and greater responsibilities.

Moreover, Professor Truong would like to emphasize one very important thing, which is morality. Doing anything is needed morality. Doing every job must be useful to the community, must apologize when making mistakes. However, morality is something that is difficult to practice and have always to follow throughout life.

When young people have morality, work hard and have compassion for others, they will see why society is better and they themselves are more appreciated. That is the value for others as well as the value for themselves.

Each person needs to keep a positive attitude, to evaluate themselves, to know how to perfect their weaknesses to get better and better, to add value to themselves.

Professor Truong shared his view that society always judges him right, they don't misjudge anyone. If the assessment is wrong, it means that he did not do well enough. He hopes each young person can find advices to improve themselves.

* Professor Phan Van Truong is a senior expert in the field of international negotiations and an Advisor to the French Government on international trade. He was awarded the prestigious Medal by the French President in 2007.

Nguyet Anh