SMOLDER: More focus needed on humanities


Column: Breaker of Chains

In the new world, life is ever-changing. 

This is especially true when science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are the new buzz words in education. People nowadays more than ever are devoted to studies that involve the sciences. This is, of course, for good reason, as this is the field where more and more jobs are created. 

In spite of this great shift in the job market, some serious issues are awakening. A great rift is opening in our society’s concentration on the arts. Science makes life possible, and art makes it worth living. 

We are living in a time in which people feel learning to build a bridge is more important than learning about making the bridge aesthetically appealing. Art is incredibly important and it is truly saddening that the world is shifting away from focusing on the field. 

In the field of engineering and other sciences, creativity is incredibly important. People need to be creative to be successful as the most creative people are those who rise to the top. The only way one can become creative is through having a serious appreciation of art. As people shift away from art, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. 

People who are now in school are not being exposed to fields that are incredibly important for developing as a person. Humanities is a great field for learning communication. Although it is important to create things that change society, communicating about this creation is just as important. 

History has seen just how powerful communication can truly be. Martin Luther King Jr. created sizable reform in the Catholic Church with his 95 theses. The United States Declaration of Independence created a whole nation. The words of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt inspired a nation out of the Great Depression. Steve Jobs sold the public on his ideas about the iPod, which changed the computer industry as we know it. 

Where would we be without these people who created a sizable impact through nothing but the word? Some of humanity’s greatest periods of innovation were during times of both scientific and art appreciation. 

During the Renaissance, world-changing art like the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel occurred. Additionally, the printing press was created during this time which would change the world for years to come. 

The impact of the Renaissance was so strong because society equally concentrated on art and technology. Together, these two fields complemented each other to make something truly special. 

It is vital for humanity, our country and the world to get back to the truly inspiring times of human development because that is what will move us forward at a seismic level. 

Zachary Smolder is a School of Engineering freshman, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. His column, "Breaker of Chains," runs on alternate Fridays.

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