How do we learn better about people and what makes up the diversity of humanity today? Cory Carnley of Gainesville goes back to basics by going back to school. The field of liberal arts constantly gets a lot of ribbing. It’s associated with degrees in basket-weaving and supposedly useless training in Shakespeare and Jane Austin. However, the fact is, when people really need to spend time learning about others, the liberal arts are one of the best ways to understand other cultures. Drama, literature, communication, history, social studies, the humanities and anthropology are all key examples of studying people from the products and concepts they have created. And, per Corey Carnley, they teach a lot more as well.
Our Collective Life Records
Corey Carnley notes every group, movement, people and country has developed over time with a cohesive and shared understanding of culture. That culture is embodied, recorded and exemplified through its art and records. So, aside from science and the physical conclusions, the liberal arts provides a broad spectrum understanding of a given culture and how it has developed over time. All one has to do is take some time to understand the different aspects, and the simple exposure of learning can have a profound effect on understanding how different groups think.
Exposure to the arts, Corey Carnley points out, as they are developed by other cultures forces people out of their “safe” zone. Instead, folks have to embrace a different perspective to understand it. When one is put in the position of consciously learning a different way of thinking, they begin to make comparisons to what they have known. This learning reaction expands the mind, and one quickly realizes the diversity of humanity is huge. In other words, people begin to realize how much they don’t know. This sense of a bigger world, Corey Carnley notes, then tends to equalize the importance of what has been one’s own culture to everyone else. It’s no longer “my way or the highway.” Instead, the exposed mind frequently becomes expanded, as Corey Carnley himself has experienced, realizing aggregation is the far more logical path.
Learning is not a magical wand, Corely Carnley reflects. It doesn’t automatically reprogram everyone to think democratically. However, it does force the mind to realize life is not black and white. Instead, humanity and peoples make up hundreds of different shades of gray. When we acknowledge that other cultures are on the same playing field and just as important, then we begin to learn to live with each other far better than before. We learn to take time to listen to each other as well as account for philosophies and thoughts different from our own. This isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s not even attractive or appealing. However, it is essential if people want to learn to get along with each other better. Our education is our future, Corey Carnley has learned, and it’s not just for kids. Everyone can benefit from learning someone else’s arts and history. And, if nothing else, we might enjoy a good story or two as well along the way.