Do we view ourselves as cultural islands, completely separate and alien from others? Or do we view ourselves as continents across which flow a constant stream of new cultural ideas and norms? Throughout history mankind has chosen in various ways. There are consequences for the choices we make and choices about how to view culture are no different.
This library solution is a discussion of the concept of a shared global heritage. This discussion focuses on the following two questions.
How can better understanding our collective cultural heritage and shared humanity across time and geographic place help us to be better stewards of a global future?
Why is understanding cultural differences across time and throughout the world important?
The idea of a global heritage is a fairly new concept. Up until a few decades ago we humans viewed ourselves as belonging to a particular clan, tribe or nation. As the world gets "smaller" due to technological innovation we have come to realize that small groups of people have the ability of impacting the entire world for better or worse.
One reason that people in the past and present have not been good stewards is that they have had the tendency to view others as the enemy, outsiders, competitors, etc. The choice to view others as fundamentally different from me rather than fundamentally the same as me has a huge impact on my actions and the subsequent consequences of those actions. Philosophers, anthropologists and historians for the most part agree that humans, regardless of their culture or historical era in which they lived, share some basic needs and values in common. All man has had a desire for life which includes food and shelter. All mankind has aspired to some type of beauty and creativity. One needs only look at the cave paintings in Lascaux, France to realize that these pre-historic people had an appreciation of beauty ...
Over 700 words of original text discussing the importance of embracing our global heritage rather than employing an ethnocentric view of history and current affairs. Proper citations to sources are included.