Language, arts, politics, anthropology, history, and philosophy are all vital to humanity advancing. Communication through language and creativity is how we connect with others to find commonalities. It is how we learn to respect differences. American citizens need to know the structure of politics to make changes. We need anthropology so we can learn from other cultures. We need history, so we do not repeat it. We need poets and writers to speak the truth, to write commentaries of history as it unravels.
When Quarantine Began
We called upon the humanities and the arts when the COVID-19 pandemic started. We turned to things that allowed us to express loss, frustrations, and give small joys. Music floated across rooftops in Italy. The theatre in England brought entertainment across the oceans. Writers got to work about the current events that are a part of history. The humanities brought us all together when we stayed six feet apart. In the beginning, my faith in society was restored a little. That changed as the quarantine continued. The protesting of privileged people stating America’s liberty was compromised because they could not get haircuts. That made me lose some faith in mankind.
Now the current events of the racial tensions caused by systematic racism. Racial prejudice should not still be a problem we have to fight to correct. There is no one perfect solution; rather, the change will have to come from a series of significant societal and systematic changes. The humanities can help educate us to be better people. Being able to communicate, think critically, question, and improve the effectiveness of how our country is (barely) functioning right now.
When People Took To The Streets
Voices rang out from inside are homes have taken to the streets to fight the injustices that are happening to black communities in the U.S. Part of the systematic crimes come from the divide in education. The U.S education system is hugely biased; I have had friends in the South tell me they did not learn about the horrific racism in America until they were adults. Lower-income schools where children of color attend are funded less than high-income white schools. The list of bias goes on. If we changed education, we could improve our country.
How The Humanities Can Help
When teaching the humanities, reading books from different cultures, religions, languages, and perspectives allows for empathy to grow in our minds from a young age. Empathy and compassion from the start can influence and create openness in young minds. It helps us as we try to understand and celebrate the unique differences of human beings. This country lacks empathy and critical thinking, and it is causing a lot of problems. There is fear in engaging in healthy debates about our opinions and beliefs. Humanities majors learn how to communicate their views respectfully. Debating and arguing are different. The students that arise from the humanities will speak articulately about the injustices of the world and will find ways to defeat them. They will create art and raise unheard voices.
The humanities are essential for the growth of humankind. People think that these studies are for people who are not good at math or are not skilled in other areas. That is not true. They are not ‘safe’ majors; they are powerful in creating positive change. The humanities can help you develop the tools to collect your ideas and share them with others. One of the most dangerous things you can do with your mind is to speak it.