Nilai Pendidikan Humaniora: “to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out”

Baru saja saya selesai membaca salah satu bacaan pilihan dalam buku They Say I Say with Readings: The Moves that Matters in Academic Reading. Tulisan yang baca tersebut adalah pidato wisuda di Kenyon College yang disampaikan oleh David Foster Wallace. Pidato ini disampaikan kepada lulusan kampus yang terkenal sebagai salah satu kampus “liberal arts” yang paling terkemuka di Amerika. Isinya adalah tentang nilai dari “liberal arts” atau istilah Indonesianya adalah bidang ilmu humaniora. 

Menurut saya, artikel ini sungguh menarik dan menghenyakkan. Menurut saya lho ya. Utamanya karena artikel ini benar-benar merupakan penyampaian yang efektif dan terstruktur atas filosofi hidup yang saya nilai sangat berarti. Intinya adalah arti dari pendidikan humaniora adalah membuat kita terus menjadi orang yang awas, tidak terlena, tidak sombong, tidak diperbudak oleh dunia, mengetahui cara menghadapi kenyataan, yang kesemuanya merupakan dasar untuk bisa menjalani hidup dengan sesungguhnya. 

Berikut beberapa potong kutipannya: 

True, there are plenty of religious who seem arrogant and certain of their own interpretations, too. They’re probably even more repulsive than atheists, at least to most of us. But religious dogmatists’ problem is exactly the same as the story’s unbeliever: blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total tat the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.  […] The point here is that I think this is one part of what teaching me how to think is really supposed to mean. To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be atomatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. (Tentang dilema antara orang atheis dan orang beragama yang keduanya sama2 fanatiknya). (p. 201)

atau ini

And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. 


This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship. (p. 207)


It is about the real value of real education, which almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time […] to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. 




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