Saturday, December 13, 2008


FOR A LIFE ENTIRE


Just thinking as I was working the garden (good metaphor for mental processes!) about the Humanities, how beneficial they are in nurturing the most important quality in living: an interesting and interested life.

The Humanities are not taught primarily in preparation for a job, which seems to be the astigmatic purpose of most education in our time - for a career that ends when you retire - but in laying the groundwork for the lifelong cultivation of interests that keep one curious and excited in new ways at every age.

In my case, it fed my desire to read, and then to write, led me to travel - I'm still exploring after all these years, an alien in a foreign land - and to ongoing natural education (see children, grandchildren, world, nations, cultures, languages, gardening, monkeys, firewood etc.) as a way of life, unlike training that in time becomes outmoded, less and less part of a life retired...

Which is not to say that other fields of study lack this beneficial aspect - it depends to some extent on the breadth and depth of one's innate curiosity, though the Humanities has the broadest cast of all. But all this came to mind (suggestively, while weeding) because the Humanities are being so dissed these days as having least relevance to a sizable income (though this table indicates otherwise -- the philosopher does quite well!) when in fact they are the richest source of the greatest wealth-- not the external kind that isolates, but the wealth one builds within oneself, to enjoy and share for a life entire.

4 comments:

Marianne said...

GREAT post! Thank you. I have recently begun a nanny job after years of teaching and raising my own family. I'm hearing what you're saying here. Best, Marianne

Bob Brady said...

Thanks, Marianne... There's no wealth like being fascinated...

tracy said...

This is most certainly one of the truest posts I've read to date. Thank you for the reminder of what all really matters...

dianeinjapan said...

Excellent post--and I agree completely!