Humanities to me, is simply the study of humanity. At the same time however, this isn’t simple at all. What exactly then is humanity?
Humanity is what makes us human. Therefore, all of our experiences, interactions, and thought processes over time since the first human is what makes us us. By recognizing what makes us humans unique, one can begin to realize that we all aren’t so different. Although our own individual experiences after birth may be very different, fundamentally we all come from the same place – so no matter how different we may seem to each other we can all empathize at some level. Humanities (or the study of humanity) helps us to do this by filling in the gaps where we are different. Our differences aren’t a bad thing, the opposite actually. They give us many different angles from which we can use to progress forward. Snow in Two Cultures addresses this problem of an increasingly specialist society, and the ignorance and culturally divide that it breeds. In talking about the “fanatical belief in education specialization” and tendency to allow “social forms to crystallize,” Snow asserts that “once anything like a cultural divide gets established, all the social forces operate to make it not less rigid, but more so.”
The central part of humanity I believe though, is evolution. What is at the center of our humanness is the need to adapt and grow. This is evident all the way through our entire existence, and will continue to be so. Whether looking at our progress from the first human to now, or looking at an individual’s life from birth to death, evolution is an inevitable process. It as also what brings us together. Without evolution and change, we would stop learning and communicating, and grow further apart from each other.
This brings it all back to us humans having a basic understanding of each other, and instead of resenting our differences appreciating them as part of what makes us all human.