This morning, I went to get some documents certified at the commissioner of oaths and had a quick chuckle with the officer. He couldn’t quite wrap his brain around the fact that my husband’s name was basically five individual words. Yes, his full name has five words in there! To many of you, that may sound excessive, but for anyone with Portuguese relatives, that’s fairly common. And it was in that moment that I realised how globalised this world is.
Have you ever sat back in awe at how globalised our world is? I don’t mean just think how awesome it is to hop on a plane and start a new life. Have you ever thought of how incredible it is to have people of all shades and cultures right within our vicinity? Back in the day, our great grandparents probably had to travel to see foreigners, but we just have to open our doors. And for those who are still living in isolation, we just have to dial into video conferences.
Before I let my ramble get the best of me, I thought I would share some of the cool things I wish I could do in this globalised world.
Physically link up my international friends
With the world the way it is, I’ve been blessed to have met so many cool people around the world – both physically and virtually. The sucky part is that my ideal group of friends is practically scattered across the globe. There’s my ride or die Jennifer, currently in Australia. My twin, Olivia, currently in the UK. My jack of all trades Nek is here in South Africa. Ah and my sweetheart Kaycee, hiding somewhere in the Philippines. My ‘solutioner’, Arlete, who is staved away in Angola… The list goes on but I will leave it at this.
Of course, with air travel and all that, it is definitely possible. But as working adults, it is very difficult to coordinate such a trip. And the thing is that only I know they would all get along so well!
If you are in the same situation, wouldn’t you like to ship all of your friends to the same location?
Get rid of visas… or at least have a globalised travel document
One thing that bugs me so much about the world as it is today is the need for visas. I presume they are required for the safety of each country, and to generate extra revenue. But wouldn’t it be nice not to worry about them each time you traveled? Of course, if you are reading this and have an American, Canadian or British passport, it probably doesn’t matter to you. But for us commoners, traveling means weeks of prep just to be able to occupy that ocean-facing room in Maui.
My hate for visas probably came about when I had decided to transfer from Tokyo to Ottawa (Canada) midway through my university degree. With a scholarship, housing and everything secured, what could have gone wrong? If you guessed the visa, you’re absolutely right. It didn’t matter that I was the kid of a diplomat, traveling for education. Even in such a situation, I had “questionable ties to my homeland” and had to forfeit thousands of dollars I had paid to the school.
Visas… such a seven-headed beast!
Get our educational systems globalised
If you are reading this on your own device, and in your own home, you’re rich. Well, by my definition at least! Can you imagine just how many people cannot afford the luxuries you and I have? And it all boils down to some simple factors; luck, chance, opportunity and work.
We don’t pick our families, we do not determine what schools our parents can afford. We also do not choose what curriculum is offered in our country. And even then, we are all expected to put in the same amount of work to get good results. I see this as asking people in different parts of the world to bake a cake and judging them all on what is produced. The caveat here is that some of them might have cookbooks and mixers, others might not have eggs. Some might be given top-notch ovens and others might be expected to grow wheat first before they bake.
In my ideal world, we would all have access to the same education and materials to get through our courses. We wouldn’t need to fly our kids across the world to get university degrees. Rather it would be a preference based on cultural curiosity.
Maybe Finland is onto something…
Give tax-payers options for how taxes are used
I might get a bit of backlash for this one, but it is something that bugs me quite a bit. Recently in South Africa, there were insane riots that sparked from the ex-president being incarcerated. People marched out in his name to protest what they questionably believed to be a just cause. One that quickly turned into stealing from stores and burning down malls. And for what? If you ask them today what the purpose of all of that was for, most of them don’t even know!
Basically, the week-long commotion cost the country $3.4bn, 3,407 people were arrested and 337 were killed.
Okay, so you’re wondering where the taxes come in right? Well, in order for the government to clean up the act of those lunatics, guess who has to pay for it? Oh, and guess who is paying for the food that they are eating in prison?
I may sound a bit whiny, but according to our correctional services minister here in SA, each prisoner costs taxpayers about $750 a month. And only $32 is spent on food!
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were allowed to apportion our taxes? I don’t mind paying for the maintenance of the roads we all drive on. I would also be happy to pay double to increase the polices’ salaries so that they are incentivised to fight crime. I’m also happy to fund medical care for all.
But to be responsible for food and housing for those who left our families starving? Nah, count me out. I don’t work forty-hour weeks to give hooligans a bed.