The word “cosmopolitan” could be associated with a number of things: an idealism, being fashionable, a magazine and an alcoholic drink, to name a few. It is a lot of things: a philosophy, a noun and an adjective, the latter synonymous to being cultured, polished, and refined. Despite the wide range of meanings associated with the word, perhaps the original idea stemmed from the first: the idealism of “belonging to the world”, as the Greek philosopher Diogenes would phrase it. It is a philosophy of internationalism, an all-inclusive world of respect and understanding despite differences. To be a cosmopolitan means to adhere to this idealism and to be at home anywhere around the world. Perhaps this is where the adjective “cosmopolitan”, which pertains to something or someone well traveled or cultured, also comes from. This philosophy is founded on the the belief that humanity is one. As a result of this one-ness, we have also come to believe in common morals, and thus “crimes against humanity” has become a sentence in war trials.
I believe that we are slowly yet steadily gearing towards a cosmopolitan community as there have been efforts towards this ideal. Tribunals and organizations such as the United Nations, for example, have shared regulations spanning different member nations which a cosmopolitan community would like to exemplify.
On a smaller and more personal scale, I believe that the Internet has helped us take a great leap towards this ideal. From a certain point of view, the Internet is a shared community which transcends borders. It presents users with a sense of belongingness to this community despite them not sharing a common physical space within a particular city, nation or region. This Internet-based cosmopolitan world has no definite physical whereabouts. We can neither say where the Internet “is” nor ask which country it belongs to as it exists nowhere yet seemingly everywhere, provided there's internet connection. In a sense, the Internet is our “home anywhere around the world” and has come to mean internationalism and being cosmopolitan. Although the Internet has a long way to go in terms of understanding and acceptance among its members, I believe that the technology itself has paved a way towards the ideal cosmopolitan community: borderless and international.