Remembering The Value Of The Humanities

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.

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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.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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It's Time To Take More 'Me Time'

Did you ever stop and think about how important "me time" is?

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I know it's not everyone's first priority to think about just hanging out by themselves for a day, but why isn't it? Self-care is so important and some people don't do enough of it. Here are some way you can get some me time in, while still having a productive day.

Me time doesn't just mean relaxing

Yes, sometimes we all need a break, maybe it's just taking a long shower, laying in bed for an extra hour, or treating yourself to a yummy dessert. But, having me time doesn't necessarily mean you can't be productive. Have yourself a day and learn to enjoy your own company. Being around family and friends is certainly nice, but sometimes taking some time to yourself and collecting your own thoughts is good for your health.

It's okay to say no

No thanks. It's something that some people don't realize that it's okay to say no, just let them know beforehand. Such a cleshay, but it's not going to change anything if you say no to hanging out with your friends for one night. Take a night off and put on a movie or your favorite tv show and chill in bed with some of your favorite snacks.

Schedule it

We schedule classes and dentist appointments in our daily lives, but why don't we schedule me time? Sometimes just telling yourself that you're going to give yourself 20 minutes before your next task gives you a time dedicated to relax and collect your thoughts. It may seem funny to think about, but this is how you will be able to fully remind yourself, and hold yourself accountable, to giving yourself some alone time.

Treat yourself

Do it. Buy it. Now. Second guessing is first nature, but who needs a second opinion when your gut is telling you one thing? Once in awhile it's good to get yourself a sweet dessert or the new pair or shoes you've been eyeing.

Reflecting

Journaling is something that I spent a lot of time doing in High School, but once I entered College I never really had the time or motivation to do any reflecting. Reflecting on your life doesn't even mean writing it down in documentation, but even just taking 5 minutes before you fall asleep, let your thoughts sink in and evaluate certain things in your life you want to change, and cherish the moments that you will think about for the rest of your life.

Never feel guilty for taking time to yourself. Others will understand, but in the end, they're not you! Remember that taking me time is important for your overall health and encourage everyone around you to do it. Keep in mind that carving out some time for yourself is vital for the long run. Laugh and smile more.

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