To Improve the World – A Response to Hugh Evans

November 5th, 2020

To want something to change within the world, one must dedicate the whole of themselves towards this change, or else it will never be seen. Within Hugh Evans’ TED Talk, “What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?”, he presents the idea of the ‘Global Citizen’, a person who doesn’t consider themselves necessarily part of a single country, group, or organization, but rather sees themselves as a person who tries to help anyone they can. These Global Citizens dedicate themselves for the betterment of others, in an attempt to improve all aspects of living for those who are in undeveloped countries or in poverty. Be it through providing funding, raising awareness, or altering governments, these benefits are done to help the needy. While we often raise funds or awareness for those in need in our everyday lives, they almost never last when governmental positions are changed, or when people grow bored of these subjects. Hugh Evans described how he, and some of his friends, managed to set up a concert with multiple famous bands in Australia which rendered the attention of the Australian government. Hugh Evans received major funding from the government, but only a few years later the government changed as new people entered leadership positions, and funding was removed. A major issue with raising awareness or garnering assistance to those in need is that it never truly lasts. However, by promoting the idea of becoming a Global Citizen, in which someone dedicates their life to helping others, these benefits can always be pushed forward and never truly forgotten, for the Global Citizen will dedicate themselves to raising awareness and gathering people together. Through promoting Global Citizens, we can create the assistance others need, and possibly permanently retain these benefits.

Hugh Evans’ TED Talk is persuasive mainly due to the fact that he describes real-life Global Citizens, and his own attempts at helping others. Showing that anybody can be a Global Citizen by showing Divinia’s actions, the woman who gathers pennies from people across the globe to raise money for those in need, tells the audience that they too can become a Global Citizen, and that even a single person makes a massive difference. Even Hugh Evans managed to sway the Australian Government. This appeal to the common people, by showing that common people can create great change, makes the argument for the Global Citizen idea extremely persuasive. There is little I found within this TED Talk that comes to mind regarding criticisms. Perhaps one form of criticism could be that the call to action near the end of the presentation was weak, and didn’t entirely entice me to go out and possibly become one of these Global Citizens.

As a future writer or journalist, I can easily become one of these Global Citizens by using my writing skills, and possibly my audience, to raise awareness for the issues at hand. By constantly writing and creating articles about certain issues, the problem of these issues being forgotten may not occur. Funding and social awareness could possibly exponentially grow, as more writers are inspired by the creations I make, calling them to write themselves about such issues.

-Aaron Wells