The enlightenment thinking seems to align more with my own thinking since I was grown up and taught to base my view upon facts and reasoning. However, after studying Hum 4, I realize the importance of the thinking of Romanticism which is also not neglectable. I agree with Schiller’s idea that rationality and reason are not always the best approach to guide our life. As a human being, something that is deeply rooted in our human nature is sometimes more powerful than those objective facts we learned in our life. Therefore, I think we all need a mix of reason and emotion in order to live a better life.
Learning the thinking of enlightenment and romanticism also gives me a good indication of how to interpret western culture. It is hard to be rational at any time, and there are also so many things around us that trigger our emotions and some are negative. Therefore, we should have a clear view of the truth and facts before placing our judgments and we should also understand that sometimes it is fine to be not rational and just simply follow your feelings.
The biggest takeaway for me of this class is the acceptance of views and thinkings a learned. For me, I used to require myself to regard rationality as my top priority on almost everything and ask myself to be rational. However, I come to realize now that rationality is not the only measure of solving any problems after learning the ideas of romanticism thinkers.
This photo is a propagandist picture title as “I want to go to school” of the Project Hope of China Youth Development Foundation that is very famous. For the first time I saw this picture, I was struck by the big eyes of this little girl that is so clear and innocent. Her firm eyes looking directly to the camera reveals the great desire for knowledge that is so heart-touching and impressive. The character in this picture is MingJuan who comes from a low-income family in rural areas and lives a hard life. Her family cannot afford her to go to school to receive better educations. Under the help of the foundation in Project Hope, she went to school for the first time and fulfill her dreams finally. Everyone looking at this picture will be definitely caught by the pretty eyes of this little girl since they are so appealing. When looking at her eyes, I always think of how much happiness and comforts that I have enjoyed during my growth. Since there are so many children in every corner of the world that cannot receive educations or even in the face of starvation and wars that threaten their lives at any time, we who live in a peaceful life should always be grateful for what we have had.
Every time I pass the blackboard in the student center, I always spend a few seconds to look at those comments on the board. Some expressing their wishes and some directly speak out their personal views about the ongoing things. As a viewer, I always find this interesting and feel more relaxed with those written ideas on it. It creates a relaxing environment that encourages free expressions from students. As a diversified University, every different kind of idea exists here should not be disregarded, since we all have the freedom of speech and expression in many forms, which corresponds to the Article in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “The free expression of thought and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: thus every citizen may freely speak, write, and print” (Article 11, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen). Apart from this blackboard, there are also a few boards in front of the student center allowing students to do their paintings on. The paintings on them change frequently and range from different styles. However, there are sometimes that words on the blackboard appear to be offensive that may make others or a particular group of people feel uncomfortable.
This leads to my question that to how large the extent can one have the right to freely express their thoughts and opinions publically?
I was recently reading an article from National Geographic about the emotions and behaviors of animals, which says that many animals, like elephants, dolphins, and dogs have empathy just like humans do. A report said that there once was an old woman who cannot see well and got lost and found out the next day an elephant guarding her. This remains me thinking of a study of animal behavior saying that elephants are emotional animals that have a strong sense of empathy. Humans, in their eyes, are just like little babies that can arouse their willingness of protection. Many animals, just like human beings, are born with this emotion as I mentioned in Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754), pg 64 that “pity is a natural sentiment, which, by moderating in each individual the activity of the love of oneself, contributes to the mutual preservation of the entire species. Pity is what carries us without reflection to the aid of those we see suffering”. This shows us that we all share a lot of similarities in the state of nature and those human beings who are considered as barbarians are actually just more well-protected by nature than us.
Hello, my name is Jiaqi Feng and you can call me Judy. I am from Tianjin, China, a city next to Beijing. My mom and dad are both engineers but I somehow interested in mathematics and am an applied-math sophomore. I like music and playing the guitar and also playing with my cats.
My favorite book is hum sequence is definitely Marie de France. I really enjoy those love stories that always give us interesting endings out of our expectations and there are always something meaningful lies behind the stories, which are very worth considering.