One of Sharlee Plett's all-time favorite authors is Will Durant, who wrote a series entitled "The Story of Civilization," an eleven-volume set covering the history of Western society from about 330 B.C. to the 20th century.
Each volume explores an era in terms of its inventions, economic organization, government, religion, morality, literature, science, philosophy and art, which Durant sees as the components of civilization.
"Civilizations are the generations of the racial soul. As family-rearing, and then writing, bound the generations together, handing down the lore of the dying to the young, so print and commerce and a thousand ways of communication may bind the civilizations together, and preserve for future cultures all that is of value for them in our own."~Will Durant
The series was released over four decades, the last one published in 1975.
As Sharlee revisited this magnificent series, she found that there now was an entire website devoted to the works of Will Durant and learned that in the 1940s, Durant wrote a "Declaration of Interdependence," which he explains in one of his many lectures:
"Our main task is to reduce the causes of racial animosity. First by recognizing that we are all guilty. Which of us has never uttered a word of racial hositility? Let us resolve never to do it again. Let us watch our own conduct, and by our moderation, our modesty, our good will, given no handle or excuse to racial division. Let us burn the second half of this Declaration into our hearts, and make a sacred vow, here and now."
Declaration of INTERdependence
Human progress having reached a high level through respect for the liberty and dignity of men, it has become desirable to re-affirm these evident truths:
- That differences of race, color, and creed are natural, and that diverse groups, institutions, and ideas are stimulating factors in the development of man;
- That to promote harmony in diversity is a responsible task of religion and statesmanship;
- That since no individual can express the whole truth, it is essential to treat with understanding and good will those whose views differ from our own;
- That by the testimony of history intolerance is the door to violence, brutality and dictatorship; and
- That the realization of human interdependence and solidarity is the best guard of civilization.
Therefore, we solemnly resolve, and invite everyone to join in united action.
- To uphold and promote human fellowship through mutual consideration and respect;
- To champion human dignity and decency, and to safeguard these without distinction of race, or color, or creed;
- To strive in concert with others to discourage all animosities arising from these differences, and to unite all groups in the fair play of civilized life.
ROOTED in freedom, bonded in the fellowship of danger, sharing everywhere a common human blood, we declare again that all men are brothers, and that mutual tolerance is the price of liberty.
The Declaration of Interdependence