A DEVELOPED nation is more than high income or economic wealth. Real societal development shows evidence of the growth of cultural capital.
Cultural capital is linked to education, formal, informal and non-formal. Educational and other related institutions are to act to ensure that high culture is pervasive in society.
In society, at any point of time, there would be pockets of high culture, popular, folk and mass culture, culture of taste, sub cultures and counter cultures. High culture, like other cultures is, of course, an ideal type of culture which can be achieved.
Immersion in high culture should be deemed essential for leaders. Among the fundamental elements of high culture, which should be promoted by schools, universities and other institutions, are the following:
A culture of personal and community hygiene. This culture of cleanliness is at the individual, family, community and societal levels. Cleanliness would be evidenced everywhere and would be the shared value of all within the high culture society. Parental cultural capital should promote cleanliness, and if this is not done, the community must take the responsibility for education on cleanliness.
A high culture society is marked by its passion for knowledge and quest for wisdom in all the domains of existence. A high culture society is impassioned to scour for wisdom from sages and prophets, scholars and teachers and the lay person who experiences, examines and reflects upon life.
A high culture has a focus on maintenance and aesthetics in all aspects of its activities. This maintenance culture is taken as the collective responsibility of each individual, child and adult, young and old. Maintenance culture is about individual best habits, a system of operational efficiency and of first class infrastructure.
A culture of continuous improvements and of continuous perfection is the philosophy and practice of a high culture society. The striving for betterment is taken for granted as the culture would improve on the status quo and move on towards higher levels of betterment and excellence. A high culture society promotes cultural capital and cultural mobility for all.
A culture of ingenuity of craft is about openness, imagination and creativity. The culture supports those who embark on crafting new utensils, implements, inventions small and large, for the home and for the community. This culture applauds those who dare and fail and try again and the culture does not ridicule those who dare to be different.
A high culture society pays serious attention to matters of manners and etiquette, courtesy and civility.
In schools and universities, there are opportunities for high table dining and for culinary experiences from all corners of the globe. Good conversations among family members, community members, teachers and students and the wider citizenry would mark the society of high culture.
Time use by high culture society is of high accountability, not only to self, family or community, but also to society as a whole. A high culture society is sensitive regarding time use, particularly the wastage of other people's time or wastage of waiting time, and recurring mistakes and inefficiencies.
A high culture society enables its individual members to have leisure diversity repertoire in various domains of life. A high culture society is on the quest for truth, beauty and goodness. This is a quest for universalness, and permanence, not of the transient fad, or local or institutional fetish.
A high culture society is always learning lessons from the past (e.g. Stone Age) without necessarily emulating the past, for it creates its own excellence, based on its present realities and future visions.
A high culture society does not only exhibit dominant forms of symbols in public and private spaces, but also champions democratic rights and responsibilities, equality and freedom of expression.
High culture society promotes cultural, scientific and artistic goods, and the establishment and use of museums, theatres, art galleries, television, creative design and architecture.
High culture society does not surrender to the arrogant and ignorant sub culture leaders. High culture is to be guided by prophets, sages, the insights of noble scholars and the experiences of great leaders.
High culture is related to civic and citizenship education. Cultural literacy for all is a precondition for the building of high culture.
High culture is not just the prerogative of the elites but all citizens should have access to high culture. Universities and high culture academies of sciences and the arts must exercise strong leadership roles to foster high culture and great traditions among the citizenry.