I write with grievance in regard to the shadow of apathy cast over academia by the current generation. In conversations every day, people complain about what they are learning and claim it unimportant to their life path. I hear so often students defining their work as “useless” and declaring the knowledge given to them is “unnecessary information.” The environment in which we live is literally one of learning, yet the air is diffused by its disdain.
It is in the greatest interest of society to pursue knowledge outside the scope of one’s specific interests as well as to learn to truly appreciate pedagogy.The world is slowly losing admiration of hard work, and eagerness to learn is disappearing.
Not every student on Harding’s campus stands beneath my umbrella of accusation, but the reality of grumbling and complaining is prevalent and the love of knowledge is not.
I witness people treat critical thinking as if it were drudgery when it is actually what enables them to take what they know and create something that was not there before. Studies show that when you try something that is not already in your brain, it opens up new avenues and expands your horizons. It allows you to learn new things. Where has the joy in the pursuit of mastery gone?
I inquired of professors in the Cannon- Clary College of Education about the importance of learning things unrelated to one’s major. We go to a liberal arts school; we should know why well-rounded education is important. From what I gathered, to know and pursue things outside of your profession is to enable yourself to become a contributor to the world through relationship.
Knowledge is so much more than something we consume. It molds us into who we are and is the possibility of who we can be. When you comprehend an array of things, specialty becomes fuller; your relationship with the rest of the world becomes clearer, and your field becomes amply utilitarian. Our understanding of one another leads us to production in the universe.
What if our purpose was not simply to consume, but to contribute? Human beings, from the beginning, have always been creators. Psalm 8:6 says, “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands …” How can we contribute if we only know what we want to know and nothing more?
To learn anything at all is to learn about humanity and the one who created it. Unwillingness to know something is to deem part of who God is as unworthy of your attention.
We obviously cannot each know all things deeply. Balancing how much understanding to have outside our own colleges comes with the discovery of specific passions. What I am telling you is that our society needs to learn to love knowledge because it is to participate with our creator in dominion as well as in relationship. To pursue broad understanding is to seek God through his people.