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Essay on Humanities and Contemporary Human Experience

3 pages
619 words
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
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Humanities revolve around how people can process and hence document their own experiences as well as the experience of others (Lee & Wallerstein, 2015). In other words, humanities is critical in ensuring that there is a record relating to human behavior and conduct in a given period of time. Humanities is a window through which we view and understand our own experiences and those other others. Hence, literature, religion, art, music, history, languages among other disciplines help us to both understand our situations and build upon such experiences even as we look into the future.

One of the key reasons why we should study humanities is that it helps us to think creatively and critically. The knowledge gained from studying humanity should place us in a position that we can reason and also ask searing questions (Svensson & Goldberg, 2015). In the contemporary world, this should be an important aspect of humanity. There are many divisions in the society, and hate crimes are on the rise. Without the capacity to look into the past, and compare with the present, it may be difficult to take a stand. The problem with such a situation is that we may end up flowing with the tide, and run the danger of plunging the world into serious wars.

Another important role played by humanities is that it helps us to understand the world around us. It is humanity that tells us that there is a bigger world than our families, villages, ethnicity or even race. An important characteristic of the contemporary world is that societies are becoming more diverse due to globalization and movements of people. Therefore, we cannot appreciate this diversity, and see it as a force for good if we do not understand what it means for us. The study of humanities should help us to appreciate the differences in cultures and values of different people (Svensson & Goldberg, 2015). This way, it becomes easier to live in harmony as a people and be able to embrace each other and forge a common vision for their future.

Humanities does not exist in a vacuum. The interpretation of humanities is done on the backdrop of our own experiences and world views. A major point to remember is that people interpret their world based on their own past experiences which include, beliefs, prejudices, cultures, and stereotypes. This background cannot just be ignored. For instance, in most stories of conquest, history tends to be written from the eyes of the conquerors, and not the conquered. The reason for this is that the conquered tends to be dominated and subjugated. However, when interpreting humanities texts, it is always important to know that each story has two sides to it; what is told and what is not told. Therefore, when interacting with a given story, it should not be taken as the whole truth. This is because the bearer of the story may be telling it either from his history or influenced by his prejudices. Such a person may be blinded to the extent that his past experiences are his truth because he has had no other truth to challenge his position.

In conclusion, it is important to state that humanities is still very relevant in the contemporary world. Beyond all things, humanities has to help us think creatively and critically to uncover the prejudices and reach the truth. Even those carrying out scientific studies will find more relevance in humanities because, with the knowledge, it becomes easier to interact with their subjects.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Lee, R. E., & Wallerstein, I. (2015). Overcoming the Two Cultures: Science Vs. the Humanities in the Modern World-system. Santa Monica: Routledge.

Svensson, P., & Goldberg, D. T. (2015). Between humanities and the digital. Chicago: MIT Press.

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