Networking in a globalized world - thoughts about the World Youth Day in Cologne

For days I’ve been thinking about a high sophisticated topic to blog about. Today a short article on the World Youth Day in Cologne gives me an impulse to reflect a little bit on the changing relations in our society. A generation away, when my parents had my age it was not that common to travel foreign countries. A visit to Paris was a real highlight at that time. But during the last years Europe and our world grew quite close together. The enhanced mobility with fast train connections in Europe and discount Airlines did their part to make traveling very easy. Some 25 years ago it was something special to visit a football game at the other end of the country – new you visit a Champions League Match at the other end of Europe.
So it is no problem to have international gathering of people! And if one of the biggest communities – the Christian church – invites you can get 400000 young people gathered together. With his business Know-How the german President Horst Köhler encouraged the participants to use the chance to form new friendships.

“Enjoy your stay in Germany. I hope you will return to your home countries with new energy and confidence, remembering the impressions of this World Youth Day with lots of new phone numbers and e-mail addresses in your pockets. Do not let go of the hands reaching out to you over the next few days.”

I think it is a real good chance for our youth to get in touch with different cultures and will help them to lose xenophobia. The xenophobia issue reminds me a little on Arthur C Clarke’s “Childhood’s end”, which I read last week. To really work together with an alien race, it takes two generations, until the humans are finally allowed to see the alien race – first the humans got to learn to accept the aliens. Globalization and global collaboration takes it’s time – but with events like this World Youth day we really have a great step towards becoming a worldwide community. Gathering of the youth will help people to become more tolerant, and enhance the willingness to work together beyond national borders.

With study programs, which bring you abroad, and the traditional school exchange many people get the chance to form networks around the world within their education. Communication over a global medium like the internet brings people together, too. (Without playing Astrowars I would probably never know that there exists a place like the Prince Edwards Island – no I have some friends over their, and I’d really liked to visit them some day!). There are many more new developments, which bring people together all over the world – let’s hope that we all make the best of it. So I’m connecting to Horst Köhlers appeal – make the best out of your chance to get connected to the world!

Interesting is that of course the issue of sexuality amongst the youth is an issue. The point of view of the Catholic Church, which is head of the gathering, is “no sex before marriage”. And as Pope John Paul II put it the use of condoms is a sin. But for the young people an open dealing with that issue is common sense. This does not mean that young people would get intimate with each other in an ill-considered manner – they make their decision dependant on the feeling of love not onto the institution of marriage. In a conservative community where the intuition of marriage is still one of the most important institutions this paradigm shift is not accepted. So it is not surprising, that authorities of the church get annoyed asked about that issue. But as it is a important issue for the youth I think this topic will be discussed amongst the participants. I think many participants are going to discuss. Partnership and sexuality go together and partnership is an important issue for young people, who seek there place in live. So it will be an issue, trying to ignore it, because it is a explosive topic will not prevent that.

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  1. Meme – I Blogger

    I saw this meme a view days ago, and wondered how long it would take to hit me. On Friday Jan got hit and used paule to bring this meme into the blogosphere of Bamberg.Why are you blogging?I discovered blogging as a nice tool for self-expression. Initiall


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  1. Wuschel says:

    *Der alte papst wird auf englisch übrigens korrekt "John Paul II" genannt :-)

    ansonsten zum thema sexualität: Hier muss man klar unterscheiden zwischen der offiziellen Kirchenlehre und dem, was in der katholischen Jugend diskutiert und praktiziert wird. Wo auf der einen Seite Sex vor der Ehe und Homosexualität absolutes Unding ist, wird auf der anderen Seite sehr vernünftig und erwachsen mit dem Thema umgegangen. Die meisten Jugendverbände und -einrichtungen der katholischen Kirche treten für einen selbstbewussten, verantwortungsvollen Umgang mit Sexualität und die Gleichberechtigung von Heterosexuellen und anders Liebenden ein. Explosiv wird das Thema erst, wenn man sich darüber mal mit hohen tieren unterhält, aber selbst dann kann man sich immer noch auf die höchste Instanz des katholischen Glaubens stützen - und die ist das eigene Gewissen, die über kirchenlehre und theologie steht.

    Und das ist sehr beruhigend :-)

  2. Jürgen Hösch says:

    *So, hab den Papst etz mal korrekt benannt. Das mit dem eigenen Gewissen ist ein entscheidender Punkt. Allerdings wird das natürlich von der Peer-Group in der man sich bewegt beeinflusst. Und wenn ich mir etz so aktuelle katholische Projekte wie diese Ave Maria Uni (muss mal schauen, dass ich mein POsting dazu fertigbringe) anschaue, dann bin ich ziemlich enttäuscht da die Kirche hier imo sehr viel Einfluss auf die Jugendlichen nimmt. Soviel, dass es imo ihre freie Entfaltung einschränkt.

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