Cultural Edification – The New Paradigm that Can Save Humanity and Stop the Violence Forever.
Sandra Taylor, a Missionary in Kenya Only Saw Love in Her Friend from Resa
For centuries man has battled man, woman, and culture. Even within our own bodies a constant battle barrages our system with warfare, defending us against our self. Immunity is the system within our body, regardless of race, faith, culture, or gender that is pre-designed to operate at all times. Cells wage war within the body to protect us from the damage of other cells that have been fractured and becoming cancerous, to the tune of over 10,000 or more cells a day being destroyed by our own immune system. Immune cells we created, like a kind of civil war must destroy cells we created. So, the very nature that we have conflict between man, woman, culture, faith, race, country, tribe, professions, political parties is not really a surprise. We wage war inside our own bodies’ everyday so our basic inclination is to program this into our lives since our actions can become a macrocosm of the microcosm that resides within the human body.
But what is the thread of existence within the body that preserves mankind allowing him to wage this internal battle everyday but not bring violence upon his brother and sister? What is the running brook of life that streams love instead of violence and brings healing waters to those who are thirsty instead of guns and violence? Some say it’s God, a deity that knows all and has pre ordained all that we are and will be. Some say there is a plan God has for our lives and for all 7 billion people who live today. The complexity of man and the earth certainly lends credence to an intelligent design we cannot fully explain, though we move closer with each new discovery. Has our creator pre-wired into our mind, our hearts, and our souls the ability to both hate and love within the same sandbox? I remember a wonderful poem written by Robert Fulghum, called All I Ever Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten. In Fulghum’s poem and book, he shares a simple course for mankind that if followed and taught to our children, we steer the course of humanity toward Cultural Edification.
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
Don’t hit people.
Put thngs back where you found them.
CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first worked you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
Fulghum espouses a pathway that moves us in a direction of respect, celebration, and harmonious life if followed. The basic message taught in the Bible to love your neighbor and do unto others, as we would have them do unto us is all right there in Fulghum’s words and then some. What Fulghum was not aware of and is even more remarkable is the incredible circuitry within the brain of man to bond, love, and connect.
From the first moments of life, a baby begins to process the messages of the world from the womb of his/her mother. Recognizing sounds and movements, infants begin to recognize the familiar and learn trust and bond to the family he/she will be born into. When birth takes place, a mother begins to bond with her child, releasing powerful hormone mediators as she nurses her infant for the first time and fathers find connection with time through caring for their newborn child and mother. Oxytocin, the bonding and love hormone is released in waves to promulgate the loving bonds of family, child to parent and vice versa. Even more remarkably though, it doesn’t stop there for mankind, throughout our entire lifetime, this hormone continues to play a key role in love and connection. When a couple comes together to form a loving bond, oxytocin is afire in the brain. When two people make love and experience pleasure together, there is release and bonding connections formed. When we take an active role in serving and helping one another, still more oxytocin is released, helping us to feel connected and more importantly to feel energized, helpful, and needed. Yes, we feel needed when we serve and oxytocin helps this union of need to agent who can help need.
Thus, wired within humanity a powerful agent for connection, love, and sacrifice exists to bond us together and find our desire to love more gratifying than our desire to hate and harm. This is the internal chemistry and neurology that can form the basis for a new thought and ideal called Cultural Edification.
Defined, cultural edification is:
The philosophy and practice of uniting, celebrating, and encouraging diversity into human interactions to create a harmonious, peaceful, world where love is the predominant emotion humans feel for one another.
As we consider what we don’t want when talking about racism, violence, sexism, classism, prejudice, bigotry, and so many other destructive ideologies, up till now there has not been an ideology to move toward. Now, we present a new view and ideal we can come together to create thought, action, policy, and change toward. The new utopian idea that has the power to change the planet and move us closer to God’s ultimate plan is cultural edification.
It’s been over 5800 years since the Garden of Eden was written about and man was banished from the Garden. Could it be God awaits man’s triumphant return to the Garden but in order for man to return, he has to move to an inner place of love steeped in cultural edification?
Source: “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” by Robert Fulghum.