Culture is like an organism that grows from a simple state to a complex system. Culture is so basic to human life, so all-pervasive, that, on the one hand, it is overlooked or taken for granted, while on the other hand, it can represent all of what we think we need to know to become fully worthwhile human beings.

Culture determines the ways that people everywhere respond to, share, organize, interpret, and pass on life’s challenges. Far from being static, culture is ever changing. Culture, with its myriad ways of challenging and stretching our thinking, is a primary catalyst to the evolution of consciousness, which in turn contributes to the advancement and expansion of social justice.

From the Latin, cultura, culture means to care for, to cultivate, or to help grow. Culture as a medium for growth has its clearest parallel in biology. Bacteria and other microorganisms are grown in a laboratory in an appropriate “culture,” a specially prepared nourishing substance designed to foster growth.

Humanity is also divided into separate cultures, with each person being the product of the culture in which he or she lives. Culture is the primary catalyst for both individual and collective growth, essential to both the evolution of consciousness and justice. As in biology, human culture is the laboratory writ large within which we grow.