Globally blind me, blind you, blind some of us…

A couple of days ago I received a an academic paper from my friend Petroula. It lacked the statistical backup I have grown used to see in my day to day (my current employer is obsessed with numerical data) but it described accurately something far more complex.

Trapped in the every day frenzied life style I live, I didn’t reply to say thank you for sending it. It was the first time I read in the words of other person what comes to my mind very often for the past few years, what I have been blamed of, reproached and praised for for my entire adult life.  Yes, my choice and achievement, that didn’t come for free. That thing that many envy, that many wish and set as a goal to achieve and that from time to time I feel I have been cursed with: A truly global life. Unstoppable. Unavoidable. Wanted… my only option.

Meet the Global Cosmopolitan – member of a talented population of highly educated, multilingual people who have lived, worked and studied for extensive periods in different cultures.

Global Cosmopolitans describes the world of some (me and my very close friends belong there), a world where national boundaries have become permeable through the opportunities for international careers and personal travel, a new breed of individual has emerged who both reflects this change and promises to be the key player in the next stages of globalization. This is the ‘Global Cosmopolitan’, a featured actor in this emerging drama who has lived in different countries, learnt to speak multiple languages and acquired an ease of moving to new situations. However, being a Global Cosmopolitan can also result in increasingly complex issues of personal identity. New and complicated questions such as ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where is my home?’ are hidden under more easily discussed topics such as languages spoken, countries visited and passports obtained. This exciting new book by Linda Brimm affords a unique view into the world and experience of Global Cosmopolitans. The author combined the stories of many that could be me or my close friends, told in their own voices, with a variety of useful concepts for understanding the experience that seems to be very rare. So rare that I feel alone in it most of the times, and in company in it just when people like Petroula, sharing that same connection with me, are there.

It was beautiful to see how many of my friends reacted to this book in different ways. Many of us think about it, talk about it for long hours twice a year when we get the chance to meet, and now it is there, on paper… for anyone living with us, thanks to us or despite us.

When my boss described me once as “the first truly international person I have ever met”, I felt flattered. When a colleague at work calls me from time to time “a corporate gypsy” it hurts for reasons he doesn’t understand.

This paper describes accurately the circumstances, fear, frustration and strengths one person gains by choosing “not to have a home” as most understand it; Bewildered by the wonders of the world, developing an addiction to change, to new information, to new people, to a different kind of success… You simply need to read it.

This type of thing really make you see how the world is flat.

And here some more


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Filed under Business, Change, Human Resources, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Resources, Travel

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