As One Out of Many
Man's earliest memory is not the cave, the dinosaur, the knotted club and the jungle.
Far beyond the dim aeons of savagery, which the delvings of science have reconstructed, is a fair garden eastward in Eden, with tranquil rivers, lofty trees "pleasant to the sight and good for food," and the Voice of the Eternal in the cool of its fading day.
An underlying love of harmony and peace is ingrained in man's persisent consciousness of that first abode. Before the ages of warfare with nature, before the intertribal and racial feuds is the changeless calm of Paradise.
Try as she may, science cannot obliterate man's recollection of his earliest childhood home. Science spins its tale of ages of tribal fury and rapacity and its summing up is the asseveration of the supremacy of the jungle law of survival of the fittest.
But a higher law graven upon the heart of man is rooted in instincts formed in his earliest placements. Not warfare with nature, nor with fellowman, but an adjustment of the world without, to his own most normal dictates of orderliness and service and harmony, is the eternal and unquenchable will of man. In this direction is the ineffaceable memory of Paradise. Out of these promptings arise man's aspirations to culture, a culture linked forever with the First Garden where nature, not subdued but won in tenderness and sympathy supplied man's every need.
A noted commentator once set forth the belief that men mingle but cultures show no social or gregarious leanings.
Not outwardly perhaps, but there is that within every noble culture that binds it in true understanding to its fellows, indication a common cultural memory and the common heritage of Eden.
True cultures impose no barriers of race or creed. In fact, their influence is toward mutual understanding and wider sympathy.
Cleveland offers the world a tangible manifestation of this truth. Cosmopolitan to a degree that few cities have been since the far dawn of civilization, Cleveland possesses a cultural institution which exemplifies the oneness of purpose linking great cultures of the world.
In Rockefeller Parkway, along the steep hillsides, between the upper and lower driveways of the East Boulevard, cling the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, with individual units or links, each emblazoning a distinct message of cultural aspiration each singing a song of the far away homeland of a people that is building anew and in that process of contributing of its own inner cultural and spiritual wealth.
Every gem in this diadem tells not only its own loveliness, but in reflection radiates the color and beauty of its neighbor.
For well over a quarter of a century, pioneers in the Cultural Garden enterprise, and those of later years who have taken up the task, have met monthly in the office of the Mayor, in united consideration of problems, and to work out plans for betterment and future expansion.
Men and women of diversified national and religious backgrounds joined in this communal effort, manifesting true devotion to an effort symbolizing the strength and purpose of American democracy.
As "One out of Many," they, the great city that supported the project from its first inception and the National Government that came forward in an hour when the way seemed darkest and carried the dream to fulfillment, made common cause in this enterprise.
The teachings of Cleveland's Cultural Garden chain are aglow with the spiritual purpose that underlies the way of free and democratic people. For surely, as it was written of true wisdom thousands of years ago:
"Her ways are ways of pleasantness
And all her paths are peace."
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