A 2018 Messiah College Graduate Reflects on the Power of the Humanities

Boyer Hall

I never got a chance to teach Becky Kimmel, Messiah College class of 2018.  I met her for the first time back in January when she interviewed me for a story on Confederate monuments that she was writing for the college news magazine.  We had a great conversation that day and I left wishing that I had had her in class.

In today Harrisburg Patriot-News, Kimmel reflects on the value of her humanities degree at Messiah College.  Nice work!

My liberal arts education has taught me perspective. How to look critically at myself and my place in society, but also at others and their place. What does it look like for me to actually be a good neighbor to my fellow citizens?

I’ve learned self-awareness. How might I have implicit biases that I don’t even recognize, but that still affect my everyday thoughts and interactions?

I’ve learned appreciation. What would our world look like without fine arts and theater — without films that move us and books that capture our attention?

I’ve learned the importance of stewardship. What am I doing to protect the planet and those creatures I share it with?

I’ve learned how to be accepting — that guess what, not everyone is going to look like me and think like me and talk like me, but that, yeah, they still matter. And are still entitled to their own opinions and actions.

And possibly of the most importance, these past four year have taught me empathy. In a society that seems to thrive on who can throw the most shade — deliver the hardest blow — I’ve learned that being nice is cool; that looking out for someone other than number one is important; that standing up for what is right, rather than what is easy or popular or will deliver the most money to my pocket, is what really matters.

Read the entire piece here.