Why a B.A. degree in the humanities is not a waste, this, of course, is a full hearty emotionally contrived idea based on a rewatching of The Dead Poets Society. Now if that causes you to pause, understand that anyone and everyone touched by Martial Arts is somewhere on that humanities spectrum. I tell kids I talk to that ask me how you get good at martial arts the standard passionate fair of rah rah Bruce Lee and Joe Rogan inspired statements. Single-minded focus repetitions upon repetitions of perfect or near-perfect practice film study and then we get to the thing I learned from my mother.
Mom, my mother if you know me is the most important person in my life obviously as a man that’s not a wild though most people hold that sentiment. Look at the countless deep thoughts about Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and how we know its ridiculous to give one more importance but we keep on keepin on. My mother is a Spelman Graduate educator with specificity in English, growing up I was well aware of that as many children of educators are, ask me about my summers filled with math timed test book reports and history test and field trips to Cosi. It was a wonderful upbringing something I surely don’t express enough to my parents but that’s for another time. I was allowed to experience and try things I had an interest in and forced to try the thing I had no interest in, historical reenactments and random guided tours were not always that fun. Same coin and the other side is she taught me to skateboard challenged me to swim laps upon laps in the pool indulged my love for jazz and any graphic art style I was interested in learning, culinary interest and cinematic as well. After talking to my friends and now my girlfriend about our influences growing up from our parents, I realized how odd that really was. Thinking about it now I believe it’s because she knew from that English degree and philosophy that critical thinking comes partly from vast experiences. You create a well rounded (anything) from melding experiences.
So where do the humanities influence that, personally it’s because the more I know the more creative I can be the more I can analyze. The shows my parents allowed me to sit through with them watching Oprah with my mother and the Living Single and once she started cooking Avatar would come and I would sit and watch and contemplate the show or any show I was watching, same with movies or any book I was enthralled by as a teenager or pre-teen. The only way I got there and then by extension learned a deep lesson in martial combat was from a Humanities majors teachings.
Teaching the humanities is one of the casualties in modern times but can be justified. When that teaching is perverted and flipped from thinking broadly and the idea is don’t ask me (the educator) for the answer but determine it based on what you yourself are analyzing. People that dismiss humanities as not being of use are misguided in their thinking, I believe more so when I then find out they are an avid podcast listener or any stem interest that involves engineering and science. They fail to realize that they are using what those English educators taught them daily to decipher what’s useful just to guide their workflow. Pondering that I’m far more equipped to explain to a child why paying reading what interests them and to analyze whatever text is presented to them in school and really throw themselves into it can make them better at any and everything, but at the same time nothing if they deem it so. My thought behind that last bit is a take on the Miyamoto Musashi “If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.”, you have that ability and you have the ability not to as well, it’s still a matter of work and want it isn’t a magically task.
The Humanities needs just a removing of that vale intellectual “deepness” with and pseudo superiority because I am an intellectual because I get poetry or philosophy, therefore, I know that I ‘m right and you have therefore need to prove to me and to yourself that you are worthy to have a conversation with me, which then leads to resentment and distrust because people perceive those individuals to be a journalist and the other to rail against. Restructuring the teaching and knowing that the influence and understanding of the powerful emotions behind different art when not mettled with is an amazing thing.