One day, perhaps when I retire, I’d like to take a crack at distilling Western Civilization into one volume, a volume of short passages. This would be primarily for ESL students from non-Western cultures trying to get a fix on the West; but it also ought to be useful for the education of children.
The Bible is, of course, especially good for this. It is, after all, the original such repository in the West. One passage that comes close to summing up the world is John 3: 20-21.
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Hard to say much about that explanation, because once one starts, one might go on forever. Note that “light” here equals truth and moral good.
This explains, for example, why, so often, it is the exact opposite of the truth that is proclaimed as truth. It seems in my experience that this is usually the case.