I often joke about my useless degree, appreciative of how a bit of irreverence can ease the disappointment of aPhD not in fact equating to gainful employment. But of late, I have been focusing on the benefits of speaking from the convictions of the heart, unattached to any prospects of gain aside from strengthening said convictions. Unsurprisingly, those gains have nothing to do with monetary recompense.
My scholarship enforced upon me the discipline required to refine a clear and credible message. I realize now that my mockery of the many years spent immersed in the language arts and humanities served only to denigrate the rewards of critical thinking. I cheapened the training of the mind’s higher faculties by assigning it a value less than that of a ready paycheck. In a sense, I signed on to hasten the death of the liberal arts tradition, acquiescing to the bottom-line -driven mentality that funds business schools and sector specific training, but scoffs at the prospect that there is any real-world need or place for the more philosophic aspects of our human condition.
I regret those flippant comments concerning my English PhD, because I regret the possibility that the arts and humanities will increasingly be winnowed out, deemed useless in the effort to get paid. Surely, that is not the only result worth pursuing.
Careful thought, deeply considered communication, clearly purposed content – together provide a wealth of assets capable of improving our standards of civic living.
I’m sorry I picked on you, useful degree. For a moment I failed to account for the overwhelming power of capital to blind one’s eyes to the stealth strength of principles deeply held and boldly articulated.