Heritage of Humanity

Heritage of Humanity, Dance of Language textbook Celebrating our Heritage of Humanity implies a positive approach to living each day, and studying literature is the battleground where we can learn to live and ultimately win. Win what, you ask. Consciousness. If we can understand the many aspects of our humanness, we can acknowledge the wants and needs of individuals, the process of moral development, the differences between cultures—the other—and the moral ambiguity—the gray area—where most of us thrive.

One author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, subscribed to the concept of balance as the supreme way to a happy life.

Shakespeare mirrored the wisdom as well as the darkest shadows of humankind so that, over four hundred years later, we see ourselves, our foibles as well as our durability, in his plays.

By reading about our own world heritage and culture and the human heritage of others, we remove the mystery of the other and more easily begin to replace the image with tolerance for those cultures that are different from our own

In Frank O’Connor’s short story “Guests of the Nation,” set at the time of the Irish rebellion of 1919, the Irish and the English put aside their respect for humanity in the name of war. Pearl Buck’s Japanese doctor in her story “The Enemy” chooses to put aside the ethics of war for the ethics of humanity.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, a jury deliberates longer than expected but caves in to the social expectations that prefer the myth of Southern womanhood to racial justice.

Lorraine Hansberry’s family in A Raisin in the Sun buys a house in an all-white neighborhood in the 1950’s at great risk in order to follow their own version of the American dream.

Heritage of Humanity It is through literature that we meet these archetypal warriors who commit to a value higher than their own ego needs, and it through these experiences in reading the literature that we can vicariously join forces with them and grow in our tolerance for others in an effort to achieve harmony. The intangible cultural heritage of humanity becomes perceptible through our consciousness of the worth of all people.