I am neither Athenian nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world – Diogenes (c. 430 C.E.)
Diogenes’ groundbreaking statement challenged the basis of ancient Greek identity, which had been historically defined by city, and led to a new school of thought: Cosmopolitanism. The word itself derives from the Greek words “cosmos” (the universe) and “polis” (city). Cosmopolitism is an ideology that holds all human beings are linked together by a shared morality. The thinking goes that each human dwells in two communities: the local community of one’s birth, and the larger community of human aspiration. According to the ancient Greek philosopher Hierocles, the ideal personal identity is based on related concentric circles, beginning with the self and then expanding outward to include circles of family, friends, local community, nation, and finally, all of humanity. The task of a global citizen is to connect with all circles, thereby making all humans their fellows.
The principles of Cosmopolitanism have survived for
centuries. Modern thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Emmanuel Levinas, and
Jacques Derrida, as well as visionary contemporaries such as Thich Nhat
Hahn and Anthony Kwame Appiah have all drawn inspiration from
Cosmopolitanism while pursuing their own understanding of our common
humanity. Cosmopolitism is broader than the economic and political doctrine of globalization and more holistic than multi-culturalism.
How is Cosmopolitanism relevant today?
Cosmopolite Consulting believes Cosmopolitanism provides a proven framework for building relationships between diverse people in a sustainable and joyful way. Paradoxically, a shrinking world requires an expanded sense of its populace if we are to achieve success in the world. The 21st century will increasingly demand us to interact with varied and unfamiliar groups and cultures. Cosmopolite Consulting is dedicated to leverage the arts as a way to foster global citizenship where all cultures are celebrated.