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In Beauty we are united
by Rene Wadlow
2018-05-18 07:48:30
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Art is not a mirror, but a hammer
It does not reflect, it sharpens

Leon Trotsky Literature and Revolution

18 May has been designated by UNESCO as the International Day of Museums to highlight the role that museums play in preserving beauty, culture and history.  Museums come in all sizes and are often related to institutions of learning and libraries.  Increasingly , churches and centers of worship have taken on the character of museums as people visit them for their artistic value even if they do not share the faith of those who built them.

museum001_400Museums are important agents of intellectual growth and cultural understanding.  Yet conserving a cultural heritage is always difficult. Weak institutional capabilities, lack of appropriate resources and the isolation of many culturally essential sites are compounded by a lack of awareness of the value  of cultural heritage conservation.  On the other hand, the dynamism of local initiatives and community solidarity systems are real assets. These forces should be enlisted, enlarged and empowered.  Museums allow objects to speak, to bear witness to past experiences and to future  possibilities. Museums help to build new bridges between nations, ethnic groups and communities through values such as harmony and beauty.

Beauty creates unity and the deepest sense of love.  Beauty gives birth within us to gratitude, harmony, and a sense of service.  We sometimes limit beauty to the field of art, but real beauty can express itself in any avenue of life.  It can express itself in politics, in education, in human relations.

There is a growing realization that art reflects the emotional and spiritual state of the artist and that a work of art vibrates with the energy of the person who created it.  An artist is often sensitive to the historical-social situation in which he finds himself.  Art is a kind of mirror making visible what is invisible in us and the life of our time.  Art is an unfailing source of increasing human awareness.  Our times of often violent conflicts and nightmares is also reflected in art — an art which can be death ridden, pathological and sadistic.  Viewing such art we may say “never again”, but we do not grow in stature or greatness.  We recognize that such art is a reflection of our time of transition, that it is impermanent, but it rarely helps us to move to the next stage of spiritual growth which should reflect beauty, meaning and spirit. Art is a vital medium of the coming world culture. It will bring joy to the hearts of the world.

Julian Huxley, the first Director General of UNESCO, stressed that a new cosmopolitan spirit requires respect for the freedom, dignity and integrity of the person.  Huxley said “By working together, we must lay a conscious basis for a new world order, the next step in our human evolution.”

Today, more than ever before, we live in a emerging world society.  We need first to be aware of these world-wide links and then we need to use such links consciously so that there are positive outcomes.  These trans-national networks for positive action are building a world society.  As we develop this emerging world society, we also grow in awareness of all previous cultures which make the building blocks of the world society.  We must be open to the literature, the music, the art of the whole world.  It is through sharing that each individual grows, and it is by sharing on a world scale that we create a world  society of harmony.

Therefore, we need to  encourage the use of literature, music, dance, painting, and the creation of gardens as ways to develop a consciousness of world unity and beauty.  This is an ongoing process, and we hope that many will join in.  Evolution and progress depend on the continually increasing power to respond to beauty and to create beauty.  Clarity and simplicity are what the heart is waiting for, and the efforts of world citizens are directed to sharing such expressions of beauty of which museums are a crucial agent.


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

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