At the Meeting of Three Faculties

Lorne Pierce An Editor's Creed
(Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1960)

In the fourth and last section "Respect for the decencies, the individual, the intangibles" appears an anecdote who's theme is considerably enlarged:

At the reception following Convocation at one of our universities, a small cluster gathered. They represented the Arts, Science and Divinity faculties. One of the Science professors asked me what one word stood out in all my reading, I replied that, if I had to choose one word, and not a phrase or a sentence, I would choose the word wonder. Does not wonder lie at the core of the arts and letters, of science and invention, and even of philosophy and religion? It is compounded of reverence and imagination, and every man must find the essence of it for himself. When found he will know it, for, confronted with it, he will instinctively uncover the head and bow the knee. It is the one great thing, beyond price and worthy of all honour.

It seems to me that this is where the publisher most truly joins hands with the university and with religion, for all three hope to set a lighted candle in the window of the world agains darkness and despair. A passionate interest in the world and insatiable curiosity about it — this the Greeks called wonder. Wonder is the threshold to fundamental feelings and ideas about ourselves, about the world around us, and about our destiny as individuals and as a race. It is the one sure way by which our sensibilities may be extended and enlarged.
Wonder remains a key operative word and concept.

The extension of reverence may take on less the trappings of veneration and yet remain a pause inflected by awe.

To inquire about the source of this awe, it is worthwhile to return to the beginning of the creed. To organize his talk, Pierce recalls setting down what Egerton Ryerson stood for
He hoped to build a covered bridge between East and West; between French and English; between Catholic and Protestant; between the learned and the unlearned.

He insisted upon respect for the decencies — all of them; respect for the value and dignity of the individual, and a man's right to be heard; respect for the intangibles — the things that money cannot buy.
Today we would for Protestant-Catholic think of Christian-Muslim, for French-English think of Indigenous-settler reconciliation, for East-West the sea-to-sea-to-sea invocation that reminds us of Arctic sovereignty threatened by climate change.

Still the word "decency" is fitting to cover the altered bridgings.

Respect: to look back at. With a regard of reverence. With a sense of wonder.

And so for day 2341