I have a postulation: western civilization is a left-brain-focused manifestation, and eastern civilization is a right-brain focused manifestation. At least up to this point.
In order for the American future generation to cultivate balance of thoughts, like intuition and wisdom, not only arts need to be integrated into its education, but foreign language, especially something like Chinese language need to be incorporated into education curriculum starting from very young.
Because I am most familiar with Chinese culture, so I will relate more to it in my discussion, but you get my idea. Chinese is an image based language which energizes right brain. There are many other culture conventions that foster right brain hemisphere emphasis. For example, Chinese use chopsticks as eating utensils. Holding a chopsticks requires the coordination of several muscles/nerves of hands. The hands have very closed connection with brain through the many inner connectivity of meridians (经络). Chinese culture habits foster right brain stimulation on a daily basis.
When we observe western culture achievements, one obvious characteristic is its Mercurial orientation (I talked about Mercury’s logistic, left brained, linean traits in the past). Compare to the Eastern civilization, the westerns are more interested in the exploration/collection of exterior world phenomenon. Even through there are figures like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau type of thinkers, they do not seem to represent the mainstream western mind. Even Leonardo da Vinci, the renaissance icon, his greatest achievement still exist mainly in the realm of arts. A striking feature of the achievement of western civilization is that the faculty of the mind is applied to the inquiry/interaction with the outside world, and so its achievement shown up in areas like painting, art, music and literature and science/technology invention. Although not lacking of imagination, but the issue of what is the essence of the mind has never taken too much of an importance in the concern of western thoughts. That is my impression.
For example, surgery, the branch of medicine that deals with the physical manipulation of a bodily structure to diagnose, prevent, or cure an ailment, (I am not absolute sure if it is started in the West), but it is populated in the west initially. Trepanation, a type of surgery to drill a hole or scrape into the skull to cure certain disease, is the initial western way in exploration of the brain/mind. It was not until the turn of 20th century, the Westerner got interested in the Eastern practice of mindfulness/mediation. And it started to dawn on the westerns that the mind can not been seen, at least at rudimentary level …
Another interesting detail speaks of left/right brain uses: western paining emphasize the perspective, and the details like ratio of body structure. But Chinese painting is all about the expression of impression/feeling when they paint a character.