Remembering The Value Of The Humanities
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The Value Of The Humanities: Remembering What It Truly Means To Be Human Beings

In this era of social and political discontent, it seems we've forgotten to connect and understand others as humans of equal value.

The Value Of The Humanities: Remembering What It Truly Means To Be Human Beings

UNC-Chapel Hill is a liberal arts university that forces its students to complete a required number of hours of classes centered on subjects in the humanities. Yet, UNC seems to be more known for its status as a scientific research institution. Many of the students I know at UNC are majoring in some sort of science or math. My sister is almost done with pharmacy school and my roommate is majoring in math.

There is definitely an inherent value in the STEM field and I appreciate the people who want to be or are experts in that field.

But I am not one of those people, and that is okay too.

I recently read some of Martha Nussbaum's book "Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities" for my English class. Nussbaum states that many nations are currently pushing for educational and governmental systems focused almost solely on gaining as much economic growth as possible.

The humanities are being abandoned because education in the maths and sciences is associated with economic growth, and Nussbaum argues that this loss of the humanities is having a detrimental effect on democracy. She believes that, without the humanities, we are losing a little bit of what helps us to understand one another as human.

I agree with Nussbaum, and I think that it is pretty evident in today's political climate that our current democracy is not functioning as well as it could.

The extremists of both sides of the political spectrum are susceptible to villainizing the opposing political side. Both extreme liberals and extreme conservatives have forgotten that the people who make up the opposing side are human too. They hold onto their opinions and beliefs so tightly that they fail to even attempt to understand why the other side might hold a certain belief. No one tries to understand people's motivations as humans anymore.

With an education system more focused on the humanities perhaps, we can begin to view others with a more sympathetic perspective and with a deeper understanding of what connects us as humans. The humanities teach not only the value of appreciating and understanding artistic outlets like film, literature, art, and music but also the importance of being aware of what is going on politically and why that matters to people individually and as a whole.

Hopefully, the humanities will not continue to be associated negatively with economic growth and just in general. If we forget what makes us human we will lose our connections to ourselves and to each other as people. A world focused solely on economic growth on the basis of the nation is one headed in a dangerous direction.

I'm currently reading the novel 'Kazohinia,' by Sandor Szathmari. In the book, the protagonist lands on an island called Kazohinia. On this island, the people have no understanding of morality, soul, and emotion. This lack of understanding disconnects them from one another and they all seem the same. I can almost imagine a world like this if we continue to stigmatize the humanities as dis-valuable.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

It will be okay, eventually.

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

Breakups are hard. There's nothing comparable to the pain of losing someone you thought would be in your life forever. Someone who said all the right things at the right times. Someone who would give you the reassurance you needed, whenever you needed it. And then one day, it just... stops. Something changes. Something makes you feel like you're suddenly not good enough for him, or anyone for that matter.

Keep Reading... Show less

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America

For the first time since 1994 the United States will host a world cup (for men's soccer)

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America
Skylar Meyers

The FIFA World Cup is coming to North American in 2026!

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.


Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Up Your Room

This holiday break is the perfect time to get away from the materialistic frenzy of the world and turn your room into a decluttered sanctuary.


Cleaning isn’t just for spring. In fact, I find school’s holiday break to be a very effective time for decluttering. You’re already being bombarded by the materialistically-infatuated frenzy of society’s version of Christmas, Hanukah, etc. It’s nice to get out of the claustrophobic avarice of the world and come home to a clean, fresh, and tidy room. While stacking up old books, CDs, and shoes may seem like no big deal, it can become a dangerous habit. The longer you hang onto something, whether it be for sentimental value or simply routine, it becomes much harder to let go of. Starting the process of decluttering can be the hardest part. To make it a little easier, get out three boxes and label them Donate, Storage, and Trash. I'm in the middle of the process right now, and while it is quite time consuming, it is also so relieving and calming to see how much you don't have to deal with anymore. Use these six questions below to help decide where an item gets sorted or if it obtains the value to stay out in your precious sanctuary from the world.

Keep Reading... Show less

Why I Don't Write (Or Read) An "Open Letter To My Future Husband/Wife"

Because inflated expectations and having marriage as your only goal are overrated.

Urban Intellectuals

Although I have since changed my major I remember the feverish hysteria of applying to nursing school--refreshing your email repeatedly, asking friends, and frantically calculating your GPA at ungodly hours of the night. When my acceptance came in I announced the news to friends and family with all the candor of your average collegiate. I was met with well wishes, congratulations, and interrogations on the program's rank, size, etc. Then, unexpectedly, I was met with something else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments