My initial definition of the term Humanities was “the study of humankind’s history and evolvement over the course of different ages and time periods; societal, political, cultural, etc.” This definition was similar to what the major percentage of the classmates’ perception of Humanities. Most defined the term from the concept of human and the society in the past, probably from the name “human” in the word. One definition that stood among the rest was that Humanities included the study of “human society and culture.” This expounded the concept of Humanities as a study of broader concepts of society including music, art, literature, and the history of all those cultures.
According to Dr. Vandermast’s “The Top Ten Reasons to Study the Humanities “, there are ten major reasons why people from other academic disciplines should study Humanities. Among the ten reasons, there are two which resonate more with my personal life and professional development. First, reason number five indicates states the study of Humanities will help “to appreciate diversity”. In particular, study Dr. Vandermast mentions the study of human civilizations in Humanities and its importance in appreciating human diversity. Human diversity in itself cuts across other disciplines like Biology. It involves understanding the differences between people or groups of people physically, psychologically, politically, and culturally (Aggarwal 55)
In the age of globalization, companies are seeking individuals who can work in multicultural environments. This includes working in developing countries, associating with people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds as well as different religions and cultural backgrounds. Moreover, understanding the diversity in individual personalities suggests a high level of emotional intelligence. Additionally, researchers are exploring the diversity in humans to predict disease probability, device effective treatment, or suggest prevention strategies. Through the study of Humanities, I am confident that I can tolerate different cultures, avoid prejudices, adopt healthy living, and integrate well into society both at a personal and professional level.
Secondly, the third reason that “Humanities courses help to improve communication” resonates both at personal and professional development goals. Research shows that people who communicate effectively through speaking, writing, and reading, lead more fulfilling lives. Effective communication skills are required across all other disciplines and every workplace. Since Humanities courses develop these skills, write, read, speak, they will be essential for both personal and professional development. These include normal communications between doctors and patients, written communication such as reports and emails, technical communications in manufacturing and production. At a personal level, effective communication with colleagues, friends, and family can help avoid conflicts. Furthermore, good communication skills are important for interaction with other individuals and are vital skills in the development of leadership skills (Hopkins & Scott 373). Through good communication, I can gain professional development and also advance in my career.
Although my initial understanding of Humanities was minimal, I have gained a broader and deeper understanding of why the courses are important at personal, academic, and professional levels. Without the skills from Humanities courses, it will be tough to integrate with society since those skills are the fundamentals of survival.
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