How to Value Individuality and Create an Enstatic School
Chapter 8: Humanity Alone: Travels in Time and Space
Humanity Alone: Travels in Time and Space
I feel safe and not, and alone but not bad alone— ANDREW (aged 7–8, in Ng 2012a: 163)
Introducing Humanity Alone
Humanity itself is studied in ‘the humanities’, covering a range of subjects and disciplines such as history, geography, religion, languages, English, and all things cultural. The humanities may also help children and young people develop their own personhood through understanding and practising solitude. In this chapter, the focus is on travels in time and space – especially through history, geography and religious education. Travel can be exciting and educational, and it can be stressful and puzzling. For example, during more than four years of work on this book, one of the hardest tasks has been the search for examples of any kind of ‘loneliness’ from longer ago than Shakespeare’s time – that is, from the time before the word ‘lonely’ was being used – and for examples of loneliness from the seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth centuries that were recognisably the same as the forms of loneliness of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Where are the contemporary documents, whether fiction or non-fiction, giving accounts that are recognisably of modern loneliness? There are plenty of examples of solitude, but loneliness, at least in its current form, was much harder to find. This is as much a problem of travel in space (to other cultures, to meet people using languages other than English) as...
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