The oxford American dictionary defining culture as “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievements regarded collectively”.
The Collins British dictionary defines it as “the total of inherited ideas beliefs, values, and knowledge which constitute the shared bases of social action”.
Man is a social animal and he has travelled long through the periods of history to reach at this zenith. The march from caves to sky-rocketing buildings is the story of man’s intellectual development and his love for perfection. This love for perfection in human affairs can be described as a culture. It moves ahead with the scientific passion for pure knowledge as well as the moral and social passions for doing good.
The power of culture is very difficult to define. In its simple sense, it seems a very simple question but in its complexity it opens new challenges to define. When we believe that the culture is the pursuit of perfection, we realize how difficult it is to define this perfection. No doubt man has enriched himself with deep study of science and technology, with the world information at our finger tips; yet on moral and social scales we still stand miserably behind. We feel much proud of being a nuclear state, but ignore the devastation and wrath incurred by it. We present our achievement in the field of science and technology by exploring the traces of life and water at the Mars but unfortunately millions of the inhabitants of our planet die regularly owing to the shortage of the potable water. How pitiable is our advancement in the field of development, when we compare life standard of the people of the USA and UK with the people of Congo and East Africa!
This is all because we don’t believe in equality and harmony in our affairs. Human intellectual and wisdom universal and should not be limited to a few individual, however our defective economic system has created such disparities and inequalities making rich the richer ones and the rest to face their own music.
In the broader sense, this entire practice is against the teachings of true culture. The culture civilizes the human mind to infuse in them the spirit of love, brotherhood, tolerance and peace. The man of culture is distinctively better than other fellows because he possesses proper understanding and discernment. He hates hypocrisy, war, ignorance, pride and injustice. His example is according to the words of Mathew Arnold is that of sweetness and light. In his famous book Culture and Anarchy Mathew Arnold describes the man of culture as under.
“The pursuit of perfection then is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness works in the end for light also he who works for light works in the end for sweetness also but he, who works for the sweetness and light united, works to make reason and the will of God prevail.”
Today when we have stepped into an area of technological revolution, it is the force of culture which may save us from moral disintegration and social decline. Our focus today is mainly fixed on technological advancement but our cultural values abide us to the social and ethical norms. In the given scenario, the man of culture is as important for the society as scientist. Our disinterestedness in culture may bring ruin and calamity. We are at the verge of social decline.
I‘ll now focus my vicinity, my area which was once the proud seat of culture and civilization today faces acute shortage and despondency. This neglect to cultural values have given birth to myriads of social evils we are best will the heinous evils of illiteracy, injustice, intolerance, gender discrimination and mal treatment of womenfolk. Bloodshed, loot, plunders and ethnical and sectarian clashes are the order of the day. All these ills are alive because we lack in cultural pursuits, or the silence of the man of culture.
It is high time to send a wakeup call to every conscious man of society to utilize the power of culture, the pursuit of perfection and prevailing the will of God. All our social evils can be redressed with the magical power of culture. For this we all must share our due contribution because according to the poet,
“The little words of kindness,
The little deeds of love
Make our world an Eden
Like the heaven above.”