According to Wikipedia, the term applies to “People* of the Renaissance who sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments, and in the arts.”
Again, from Wikipedia: “They had a rounded approach to education that was typical of the ideals of the humanists of the time. A gentleman or courtier of that era was expected to speak several languages, play a musical instrument, write poetry, and so on, thus fulfilling the Renaissance ideal. The idea of a universal education was pivotal to achieving polymath ability, hence the word university was used to describe a seat of learning”
Intellectual: Being in IT, that’s obviously the first area covered, well at least in a few areas, but what about the other areas?
Physical: As we all know, IT or any office work is notorious for being physically bad for you, so let’s assume that we’re all doing some form of physical exercise or discipline in order to counteract that.
Artistic: This of course exercises the right brain through activities such as painting, photography, poetry, music etc… Yet how many of us devote a reasonable amount of time to the practice and development of any of these skills?
I’ll hold my hand up and admit that in recent years I’ve dropped the ball on the Artistic front. I used to be an avid photographer and musician (synthesizers, of course ;). It’s only now that I’ve moved to a safe environment that I’m finally getting back in to these two pursuits, and loving it! To put my money where my mouth is, here’s a little “noodle” I call “Space Guitar”
and here’s a photo I took during a recent walk through Kings Wood near Challock
How about you? How is your “softer, creative and artistic side” going? The great thing is that you’ve got your profession, so you don’t need to become a professional in this area, just do and enjoy it :-)
Although this post is aimed at IT People, I think it wouldn’t be that bad for society overall, given it’s current left-brain, (bad) capitalistic** bent which seems to be sending us headlong down a road or track that doesn’t seem very nice – it’s not too late though.
PS Wondering why the graphic at the beginning? It’s from a ground-breaking Sci-Fi animation called Renaissance – well worth a watch
* The Wikipedia entry says “Gifted People” but I don’t think that’s what we need to strive for here. I do photography and music – not to a professional level, but to one that makes me happy – I think that’s the key for this.
** I think there is such a thing as “good capitalism”, it’s just that we’re not seeing much of it at the moment as it needs some input from the right brain in order to enact qualities such as empathy and humanity