In his article "Our New Cultural Imperative" (Editorial Pages, Feb. 6) James Freedman deplores the emphasis on "Western Civilization" to the detriment of other influences on our culture. The influences of Greece and Rome and of the Judeo-Christian legacy are more pervasive and should have a major emphasis in education. However, the years spent in college should merely form the foundation for lifelong learning and appreciation of the influences that have formed our heritage. May we suggest a very readable source "The Story of Civilization" by Will and Ariel Durant. The public libraries are replete with interesting and up-to-date material and public television is a continuing feast of foreign cultures.
In regards to languages, a helpful spur to learning these was provided by the British authorities when in India. English civil servants, when posted there or when transferred to a new district, had one year to learn the local language (two years for the more difficult) with the carrot of a bonus for passing and the stick of a 10% pay cut for failure.
Corona del Mar