Complete Name of Professor
Our universe is vast and the creatures living in it are very much diverse in their own ways. We human beings are all unique from each other—which, I think, makes us special. The way that we think, act, and speak is makes us distinct from other creatures and from one another as well. Although separated by various cultural and geographical boundaries such as language and traditions, we are still able to connect to each other through the understanding of humanities tied along with history.
I, for one, learned to support and strengthen the local arts in my community by learning to appreciate the importance of creativity as well as to value its historical basis. Also, through the past assignments, I have gained ample amount of wisdom by learning how others have dealt with their failures and successes through their writings. It paved me a way to reflect on the adversities and triumphs of my own life, and thus see my true self. These reflections helped me see myself clearly and maybe even changed some of the ways I see myself and the way I think of the outside world. At some point, it gave me a heads-up on how I will act and operate in different circumstances in the coming phases of my life. But the self-portrait, I think, is the best representation of my identity—it shows how I shape myself every day in line with how the world, the society, shapes me.
Humanities is what keeps us human—it keeps our sense of being. It stimulates our minds to be creative and imaginative. If there is one important thing I have learned about humanities that is to think outside the box and get out of my comfort zone for that is the only place where I can find my true identity; because outside my comfort zone is my reality and how I would respond to the reality presented to me would define who I am and what kind of person I am. Also, it is where my abilities would be of great use and might even develop something new. Humanities provide all the knowledge I need to take on the world, the strength to relate to others, and the courage to face my own reflection and being.
Aside from this, learning humanities helped me develop a global perspective by studying cultures throughout the world. This has deepened my understanding and appreciation of the cultures of other people around me and their different point of views for humanities, especially art and literature, allow people to travel through time in their seats. Such kind of ability and knowledge in humanities will be helpful in maintaining harmony in the community. The arts in general give perspective about the world and other cultures and it discourage discrimination (Kanter 2010). Moreover, this has taught me the interconnectedness of all areas of knowledge and how they all fit together.
A society without arts and humanities—where there is no music, art, or literature would be hard to imagine. Religion and philosophy would nonexistent, history would cancel out, and intelligent debate among individuals would not happen (Piper 2013). Culture would be dry and incomplete without these elements of humanities, and we our minds would be as empty as a drum and our souls would starve to death.
As compared to other disciplines—in social or natural sciences—knowledge in humanities give us more practical applications in our daily lives. For example, it teaches us compassion and empathy—which is very much needed especially in coexisting with one another given that we live in a rather harsh world. It provides us practical knowledge for real-life situations and it prepares us for our everyday lives.
Moreover, humanities provide us a better understanding of the world we live in. It gives us clarity and awareness on social issues. For example, linguistics and ethics are the crucial dimensions of humanities that are necessary in the ongoing war in Iraq, which the United States understand without grasping the politics, religion, and culture of the Iraqi people. As Spiegel (2008) clearly pointed out, “The exercise of power without a sense of ethical responsibility is dangerous; the exercise of power without historical knowledge is a prescription for disaster.” We interact with different kinds of people on a daily basis, and we get ourselves into a big trouble without a proper understanding of what they have to offer through humanities.
Humanities allow us to dig deeper in our roots, our culture, until we find the real treasure that has been buried by revolutions of the ages—our identities. If social science provide us a better understanding of the society and the world, humanities provide us a set of perspective on how to see the world and ourselves in a spectrum. The self-portrait for example, concretize the way to self-discovery that a social science article is not able to provide. Poetry, for example, offers a wide range of human emotions intertwined with observations of the surroundings wrapped in artistically threaded words. Humanities focuses more on the individuals and by the way I see it, it is likely a manual that presents us how to be humans and live real lives.
While I agree that humanities does not provide cures to diseases or new technology, it is still useful and relevant for it allows people to communicate across borders and deal with others in just and reasonable ways. Furthermore, humanities promotes a sense of morality and responsibility, which are the key characteristics that we look for in each other and especially our leaders. Humanities plays a significant role in our modern society, and it remains an element to our understanding of the world, the people around us, and of course to ourselves—which is an ability that should never be undervalued.
Work Cited Page
Kanter, M. "The Relevance of Liberal Arts to a Prosperous Democracy." US Department of Education Annapolis Group Conference. Annapolis, 2010.
Piper, S. The Humanities: What Keeps Us Human. 13 September 2013. 24 June 2015.
Spiegel, G. "The Case for History and the Humanities." Januart 2008. Perspective on History. 24 June 2015.