Last week for my Age of Reason class we read a story by David Brooks called The New Humanism, which was essentially about the modernization and evolution of Humanism. There are many definitions of Humanism but the official definition is “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”
This piece of writing had a great impact on how I thought about how we value humans, and categorize others based on skills and attributes that would better them rather than better humanity. He states that the expectations that we have for a person which have been emphasizing I.Q, degrees, and professional skills should rather be these five skills which could make people “better humans” rather than corporate monsters:
Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.
Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.
Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.
Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.
Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/opinion/08brooks.html?_r=1)
These skills represent a repertoire that David Brooks thinks that each human should have, and I completely agree with him. With these, and maybe a couple more skills being in taught in school and people being awarded for them could have a drastic change on the way we live, and in my opinion, for the better.