We have specialists in our society today. We do “one thing” in our occupation, and then we recreate and pursue leisure. Hobbies often reflect our identity, vacations reflect where we want to be. Modernity teaches that to be great we must be specialists because specialty produces greatness. History demonstrates that through living a renaissance life one can discover greatness. Sometimes greatness is a matter of discovery rather than productivity.
But society hasn’t always been like this. The Renaissance bridged the Middle Ages and modern history. It lasted from the 14th to 17th centuries, starting in Italy and spreading through Europe. One of the greatest things created during the Renaissance period were renaissance men, living a renaissance life.
Some of the great renaissance men who made incredible contributions to soceity were;
Leonardo Da Vinci
Our society has certainly lost much of this today with the corporate lifestyle. We have dumbed down our internal resources for Instagram and shelved our personal drive in exchange for the NFL. Today we are content to watch others living the facets of life we dream of, and simply sample the wine without growing and maintaining the Vinyard for ourselves.
Recently some friends and I discussed the renaissance period and how we define a renaissance man. Our comments follow:
Thoughtful and thought provoking
His or her identity is above occupation
A jack of all trades
They are experimenters, they are curious, and try many things.
They stand up for what they believe in but are not afraid to change and consider other points of view.
They are beholden to nothing but their faith and their core values.
Is not a laborer or a craftsman but an artisan. I have posted the statement from Saint Francsis of Assisi for context:
“He who works with his hands is a laborer,
He who works with his head is a craftsman,
He who works with his hands, head, and heart is an artisan.”
What is the greatest lesson to be learned from the renaissance period and the lives of renaissance men?
The Renaissance was an “upheaval” between the Middle Ages and modern history. Many people today need an upheaval in the traditions, routines and mindsets of their lives. They need to release their curiosity, their drive and their heart to create, attempt and experience a life filled with their convictions.
In French, the word renaissance literally means “rebirth.”
Are you living a renaissance life or do you need a rebirth? If so, in what areas of life? How can you change the course and content of your life and experience a renaissance?