Letter to the Editor / EDUCATION – LOVE WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL

By Roger C. Kostmayer

Howard University recently shut down its Roman and Greek classics department, continuing academia’s assault on humanities by ignoring context.  This trend seems to be aimed at past racial and other crimes committed by Western civilizations, and it is the ultimate example of throwing the (Western civilization and philosophy) baby out with the (western crimes) bath water.

Today, when students are asked by teachers why they are there, and the purpose of education, the overwhelming response is “jobs”.  This job training utilitarian concept is both pathetic and inaccurate.  The purpose of education, formal or otherwise, isn’t the acquisition of facts.  At its core, the purpose is learning to love what is beautiful – think of art, music, poetry, literature, history, philosophy, mathematics, science and much more.

Education isn’t just about knowing, it’s about action, beginning with self-awareness.  Thinking, speaking, writing, acting and living in a better and more enlightened way is more easily achieved by listening to the greatest thinkers, writers and philosophers of Western civilizations, even if those cultures were unjust and immoral a thousand years ago.

If your goal is to be a great doctor, engineer, business tycoon or politician, you must read a 16th century racist and homophobe named  – William Shakespeare.