Barbara Ward

[To the cultures of Asia and the continent of Africa] it is the Western impact which has stirred up the winds of change and set the processes of modernization in motion. Education brought not only the idea of equality but also another belief which we used to take for granted in the West-the idea of progress, the idea that science and technology can be used to better human conditions. In ancient society, men tended to believe themselves fortunate if tomorrow was not worse than today and anyway, there was little they could do about it.

Casually, unconsciously, but with deadly effectiveness, western man all round the globe destroyed the traditional gods and the ancient societies with his commerce and his science. … Does it mean nothing to him if great areas of the world, where western influence has been predominant, emerge from this tutelage unable to return to the old life, yet unfitted for the new? It is hard to believe that the future could ever belong to men demonstrating irresponsibility on so vast a scale.

On the one hand, we are faced with the stewardship of this beautiful, subtle, incredibly delicate, fragile planet. On the other, we confront the destiny of our fellow man, our brothers. How can we say that we are followers of Christ if this dual responsibility does not seem to us the essence and heart of our religion?

if we continue with what is surely our greatest Western temptation, and think that in some way history owes us a solution, that we can, by pursuing our own most parochial self-interest, achieve in some miraculous way a consummation of world order, then we are heading not simply towards great disappointments, but towards disaster and tragedy as well.

It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision…That is the sort of time we live in now. We…live in an epoch in which the solid ground of our preconceived ideas shakes daily under our uncertain feet.

In the home we make certain distinctions about functions of rooms and corridors; we do not deliver the groceries straight into the baby’s crib. In hospitals we do not take the food trolleys right through the operating chamber, and we rarely have the recreation room next to the convalescent room. We sort out the functions. We have to sort out the functions of the city and the streams of traffic and re-create arterial systems that allow us to breathe … the shape, pattern and sense of community which you expect if it were a home.