What does it mean to be a global citizen? Like-minded DDM members from all walks of life joined together on a crisp winter Sunday at the Buddhist Library in Camperdown, Sydney, to find out at the 2017 Global Citizenship Workshop. The third in a series of workshops that foster learning and dialogue about global issues, this workshop was led by Venerable Chang Ji and Venerable Guo Chan, DDMBA representatives for global dialogues on interfaith.
The interactive workshop started with introductions and quickly branched into various discussions around the impact of human activity on the planet, and how to live more sustainably. Venerable Chang Ji presented participants with information about the state of the planet’s health and how this has come about, incorporating infographics and video clips, that were engaging and often confronting. Participants were also guided by Venerable Chang Ji to explore and meditate on the emotions triggered by these – including sadness and despair.
On a more positive note, the workshop ended with Venerable Chang Ji encouraging participants to brainstorm how things they love doing (“things that make you come alive”) intersect with global issues (“things that the world needs”). This enabled participants to identify individual actions that could generate change, such as recycling, cleaning up the natural environment by picking up rubbish on bushwalks, using less plastic, and eating locally and sustainably grown food. Overall, it was a sobering, thought-provoking day, which also generated or renewed participants’ motivation to be better global citizens, and to act individually and together to protect the global commons.