Personal Human Decency: The PHD from the University of Life
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/10)
When I first began my career in the world of academia, I thought the highest rank that could be achieved was a PhD. Having been in this field over ten years with only a Master of Science degree, my experiences have taught me that there is much more to life than having a doctorate. My passion for working with students that have disabilities has enriched my life so much, that I have no desire to take time out to continue my education at a university. I have many days where I feel that my students teach me more about living, than I could ever teach them.
Having a chance to read “Personal Human Decency: The PHD from the University of Life” really resonated with me, because I think that my life experiences have taught me much more than I could learn from sitting in a classroom. Human decency involves acting with dignity and integrity. What could possibly be more important than living your life with those standards? If I focus on living my life in this manner, then the people who are a part of my life, both personal and professional, will have better lives. If Americans would live their lives based upon these qualities, then our country as a whole would stand a greater chance of avoiding deprivation and war.
The author, Anthony Barclay, is from Liberia. Through his words, mainly in poetry form, he teaches us about the beauty of his country, the issues that Liberia is facing from their civil war, and we learn about how his people are very similar to my people. This part is incredibly sobering because, as I read his words, it dawned on me that one day, the United States could also be experiencing the same dire situations that the people of Liberia have had to endure.
Reading his poetry really reached into my heart. Through his words, Barclay does a wonderful job of conveying the myriad of feelings that he has dealt with regarding the issues of his country. He also helps us “see” what Liberia was life before the war. I seriously doubt that there is a text book on this planet that could teach me more about Liberia, than “Personal Human Decency” has been able to. I also felt like he is giving us a wake-up call about how we should deal with our own problems in the United States.
I truly hope that many people will take the time to read “Personal Human Decency” and apply what they learn to their lives. In doing so, we will help the world be a better place, and our lives will be more meaningful. Mr. Barclay will also have the satisfaction of knowing that what he has been through, both good and bad, will have helped more than just the people of his nation. I highly recommend reading “Personal Human Decency,” and especially recommend it to professors of philosophy, economics and political science.