First, Globalization is here to stay, whether we like it or not, the world today has shrunk and we are all wired together! In spite of the IMF and WTO or AMWAY for that matter, most people today are like me – “international”! Second. McDonaldization thanks to the USA, we live in a consumerist, instant, ‘have it your way’, lov’ in society, where even Christianity is packaged and marketed a certain way (Have you watched televangelists?)
The third is what in India we call – Saffronization this is the indigenous people realizing their rootlessness on account of their native culture, dare I say their values, being eroded if not destroyed by a flat-land philosophy for life. This after 9/11 augmented religious fundamentalisms. People today want their rights but without responsibility toward the other and with this selfish attitude have developed both roots and wings!
I’m not campaigning for a ‘tolerance’ that ends up as compromise where people without moral absolutes don’t have guts to stand for something and eventually fall for everything! Today’s moral relativism has a way of confusing mother Theresa with Lady Diana. I’m concerned because in life, we are not celebrating our differences but rather arrogantly exploiting ‘the other’, be it another faith or way of doing something, anything. We adopt: ‘It’s my way or the highway policy’ at home with kids or in our governments.
Anyway, I’m advocating Glocalization – where there is a healthy hybridity. Today, global tends are indeed shaping local cultures, see what’s happened in our traditional cities, Bombay now Mumbai, India or Nairobi, Kenya, our daughters in their cut-off jeans with iPod are invading the malls, Gosh! I could be in NY! Yet, local culture can shape and has made global phenomena. Don’t we all love Italian Pizzas, Chinese take-away, Indian curry? Did you know India gave the world shampoo and Pajamas!?
The ‘glocal’ gives respect to ‘the other’ yet, remains winsome through a life that reflects truth and love. I’m referring to the (only) Truth that sets us free and a perfect Love that casts out all fear! (Jn.8:38; 1Jn.4:18, Jh.10:10). Perhaps the Westminster Confession had it right that the chief end of humans is to know God and to enjoy Him forever. Such experiential knowledge and life in Christ is Abundant not indulgent, and guess what, I’m lov’ Him!