Local is crucial. Families, homes, and communities need our attention and care. But without a global perspective -- without making the effort to learn how other cultures are tackling problems ranging from education to health care, fighting terrorism to fostering innovation -- we miss valuable lessons developed in the laboratories of other nations.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Is Hillary Rodham Clinton running? What about Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rand Paul? The 2016 presidential race is already generating buzz. Meanwhile, can you (without turning to Google) name the prime minister of Sweden? The president of Indonesia?
Readers outside the United States occasionally nudge us to remember that America is not the center of the world. Imagine how it seems to someone in Canada, Japan, Australia, Germany, the Philippines, or any of the 190 other countries to face a steady stream of news about American controversies, concerns, Kardashians, and political races that are more than three years away.
We get it. The Monitor’s audience from the moment of its founding in 1908 was “all mankind.” Ideally, we would publish in many languages and give equal weight to news from all parts of the world. Practically, we’re a long way from that. Our American roots are real. We are US-based, and staffed largely by Americans. Most of our readers are in the US. And for better or worse, the US is by far the world’s biggest newsmaker.
To compensate, we strive for international perspective – and have done so since our founding. It is why we have correspondents that we turn to all over the globe. In a Monitor cover story, we take you around the world in search of the best ideas in education. If you’ve read the Monitor for a while, you’ll recall that we’ve applied this international perspective to issues ranging from the fight against terrorism to the fostering of innovation, from competing systems for national health care to global manufacturing and trade.