Culture: So What?!? Each week, we’ll be asking thought leaders from all walks of life to answer the question: What is Culture and Why Does it Matter? In our opinion, the concept of Culture gains new importance every day. We’d love to know what you think, too. – The Editors
“Isn’t it the extras that make life so interesting?”
While it may not seem that culture and the arts is relevant to business and technology, perhaps that’s the very thing that makes it valuable. I’m reminded of a portion of the Sherlock Holmes story The Naval Treaty in which the detective seemingly goes off his rocker when looking at a rose. His companions are completely taken aback because it is so out of character and seemingly has nothing to do with the moment.
“What a lovely thing a rose is!”
He walked past the couch to the open window, and held up the drooping stalk of a moss rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.
“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”
Percy Phelps and his nurse looked at Holmes during this demonstration with surprise and a good deal of disappointment written upon their faces. He had fallen into a reverie, with the moss rose between his fingers. It had lasted some minutes before the young lady broke in upon it.
Culture allows us to remove ourselves from the necessary and focus on the extras. And isn’t it the extras that make life so interesting?