Saturday, January 12, 2008

Do the humanities ennoble/Mormon Matters

Do the humanities ennoble?


If it were true, the most generous, patient, good-hearted and honest people on earth would be the members of literature and philosophy departments ...

That got me thinking, but not the same direction as the various articles and commentaries on that editorial.

Instead, what does ennoble, what makes people patient, good-hearted, honest and generous?

I think it is service and action, rather than study, but I'm looking for input about what caused people to be the kind of people they are happy to be.

BTW, I've accepted an invitation to start blogging on religion at

"must have a deep and abiding love" and "All discussion must be respectful ..."

I've finished my first two posts (I'm committed to weekly posts) and have outlines a couple-three more solidly. Now I just have to learn how to upload them to the format there. If I do well, I'll graduate from permanent guest to permanent group blogger.

This blog will go back to more relationship/grief/life posts.

BTW, a great book that teaches people things they wish they had known:

The Grandmother Principles
by Suzette Haden Elgin

My own mother thinks of it as the best book for how to be a grandmother that she has ever seen (well, the only one, but she loves the book).


Ann said...

Stephen, you will be a wonderful addition to Mormon Matters.

Jo said...

I am utterly flattered you left a comment on my blog, I have admired you from afar on FMH.
And on your question, wouldn't you say the things that broke your heart and drove you to your knees are what changed you the most?
I know that is true in my life and raising a disabled child has changed me in more ways than I can even begin to explain on a blog comment.
I heard once someone say, when things happen, you can choose to get bitter, or better. Some will say that such and such is what made them lose faith in mankind, made them bitter and angry and the next person can take almost the same situation and say it made them better human beings. A choice always. A broken heart? A guarantee.

Anonymous said...

I have not read the link. I do believe that great literature and art can help people to know what to model. What we take in also influences us. However, I think that some are more geared to the type of thinking in literature and philosophy as well as symbolsim. You are right when you say that it is kindness and actions that count. Across the board, this is true whether one is a college professor or a brick layer. I spend a lot of time thinking. Then, life happens and I realize where I fall short in putting theory into practice. I do believe that people are generally taught how to serve others. Some cultures are more group oriented as well. There are some pure individuls that are more inclined to put others ahead of themselves. Others learn through experience the blessings of being of service and being served. Jo, I like what you said about being bitter or better. I think that I am going to check out your blog in the near future. -Barb was here