The humanities are areas of science that open the path to the exciting world of valuable knowledge accumulated over thousands of years. Via examining the humanities, I have the excellent opportunity to acquire or develop essential mental skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, creativity, asking pertinent questions, and notice important details. The core humanitarian disciplines, including literature, philosophy, history, language, religion, classics, among a few, will help me explore both my personal identity and surrounding environment in diverse aspects.
In particular, history allows me to learn the experience of different civilizations and figures and trace the course of their establishment. Knowing their problems, obstacles, achievements will assist me in seeking appropriate solutions to contemporary social issues. For example, understanding the main provisions of democracy and the advantages of various developed nations may facilitate my decision-making in politics or the workplace. Literature and classics can broaden my knowledge about the values, norms, and mentalities of different cultures and help me appreciate the diversity and the uniqueness of each person. In addition, I think that literature can refine and humanize an individual’s personality, inoculate tolerance and broad-mindedness, and enrich vocabulary, which is beneficial for everyday interactions with others.
By diving into philosophy, I can meditate on profound questions connected with private and public life. For instance, due to my acquaintance with Plato’s views, I have learned that “everything in our world is actually a mere shadow of a higher reality” (“Leonardo DiCaprio & The Nature of Reality” 00:05:02 – 00:05:05). That is, the perception of reality tightly and directly depends on the volume of personal knowledge about this reality; the broader an individual’s knowledge, the better he or she comprehends reality. This understanding stimulates me to seek the truth, not stop on the achieved, and discover new ideas and things. Moreover, after reading Plato’s narration The Allegory of the Cave, I realized that educated and knowledgeable persons bear responsibility before society or, at least, their milieus in terms of their words and actions. Such persons primarily should disseminate useful knowledge and encourage others to be enlightened, despite the initial resistance they can meet.
It is worth noting that philosophy, in the close connection with literature, also provides me with insight into the essence of happiness, morality, and goodness. For example, I was impressed by themes raised in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin. One of the central themes of this story is whether it is permitted, from a moral point of view, to build own felicity on the ground of others’ misery, even the suffering of one person. Besides, the writer concerns the issue of egoism that can totally paralyze the ability to discard personal comfort and sacrifice for others. The young residents of Omelas were “always shocked and sickened at the sight” of the unfortunate child, but they could do nothing because “beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed” (Guin, 1973, p. 3). Nevertheless, I think that, actually, the serenity of Omelas’s people was poison with the child’s distress, and they felt that subconsciously.
Overall, I firmly hold to the conviction that humanities are beneficial scientific fields directed at uniting connections between different human activities. The achievements and findings of humanities can be positively applied in education or business, especially in marketing and management. Moreover, skills gained from humanities can be practically transferred to any discipline and profession. For instance, critical thinking, primarily developed by the interpretive analysis of respective documents and artifacts, can be used in exact sciences, jurisprudence, healthcare, politics, or advertising agency. Moreover, the lessons retrieved from materials help me in my private life, especially in interactions with my family, colleagues, and friends.
Le Guin, Ursula. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters, 1973.
“Leonardo DiCaprio & The Nature of Reality: Crash Course Philosophy #4.” YouTube, uploaded by CrashCourse, 2016.