We cannot have a sustainable environment without a sustainable people to inhabit it. We must have sustainable human cultures that are the lifeblood of evolutionary biodiversity. We need the multicultural approaches to Reality through language, myths, and traditions to insure the rich continuation of humanity. We need to honor and respect each other in our differences—not just for the purpose of social harmony, but for the greater purpose of achieving our purposes as spiritually aware creations. We undermine the destiny of humanity when we yield to conflict and prejudice. Humanity is a DNA-related family. What can create this behavioral awareness?
My tool for creating multicultural awareness is the novel. I believe that the novel is superior to non-fiction and journalism in altering behavioral consciousness. Of course, to effect changes of heart and mind, the author must first have readers, or at least, a body of citizens who can read. When you hear the phrase “reading is fundamental,” the deep importance of books is implied.
I’ve spent a lot of time in libraries. For me they are sacred places. They are the archives of our multicultural legacy, and librariansare the keepers and preservers of our human heritage. All future knowledge and human purpose must be built on the living library of our creative thoughts and ideas. That is not to say that all books contribute to positive roles in our culture. And here is where the librarian becomes so important. The librarian has to be a lover of
good books. By education and talent, the librarian has both the professional knowledge and the intuitive reckoning to distinguish between bad craftsmanship in research and writing and inspired, gifted writing. The librarian, as a dedicated reader, also recognizes what builds a society and what tears it down. It is not that the librarian rejects alternative opinions and points of view, but the conscious librarian makes choices on what will be purchased and what will be personally recommended to patrons.
And here is where I most respect the high office of the librarian. Above the restrictions of budgets and the frustrations of hierarchal administrations, the librarian has the possibility of changing lives. Like great teachers, great librarians meet needful individuals at the precious moment of choice. The right book at the right time is often a nexus to individual destiny. The great librarian listens, senses the need, and has the reading experience to recommend what is crucially appropriate to that reader. Great librarians provide a better service to their clients than many psychoanalysts who ought to be reading more meaningful novels and fewer academic case studies.
When librarians play a key role in changing individual perspectives from exclusive prejudices to inclusive points of view, they expand consciousness in life-changing ways. They bond humanity to a common destiny. To me, this dedicated service is a high calling. Therefore, in respect and gratitude, I rise to speak in praise of librarians.