The problems we face today are grave. Poverty, disease, climate change, and threats to national and global security test even our greatest leaders. At such times, it may seem prudent to forget about art, music, literature, and languages.
We have been here before. In 1939, as war raged in Europe and Asia, Yale President Charles Seymour worried that the liberal arts would be neglected. Although the public did not think they were “useful,” Seymour was convinced the humanities were indispensable. “Without them,” he wrote movingly, “the heritage of the human experience is impoverished.”
Now, as then, we must value the humanities even in the midst of conflict and division. Only through the humanities can we prepare leaders of empathy, imagination, and understanding — responsive and responsible leaders who embrace complexity and diversity. Our institutions must also play a leadership role by making the treasures of the humanities widely available. It is our responsibility to prepare the leaders of tomorrow, and to elevate and protect “the heritage of the human experience” that we all share.
|Scooped by David Hain|
David Hain's insight:
Powerful plea by the president of Yale not to ignore art, music, literature in the rush for progress and the straitened times we inhabit!