Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jefferson’

Best compliment EVER.

A little while ago, I was talking with a friend of mine and she referred to me as a “renaissance man”.

It floored me. It confused me. It made me filled with wonder. I simply had to ask what in the world made her think of that.

She answered with a list of various experiences, and knowledge over various subjects, and added in a few talents and abilities. More or less.

But I couldn’t help myself to wonder why the term “renaissance man”? I had to research it.

So then I found a basic definition that was helpful enough to get rid of the haze and have me understand what she was talking about.

A “renaissance man” (or a polymath as the term was used in Ancient Greece) is a present-day man (or woman) who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.

After a few restless nights and days, I thought about just how I could fit this definiton.

  • I know how to speak in several languages.
  • I play the sport of sledge hockey.
  • I know a lot about music.
  • And I was told that I had the capability to carry on a wide variety of conversational topics, instead of just dwelling upon one at a time.

It was interesting to me, but I was not sure if that “qualified” me as a “renaissance man”. Even if the modern day. I need an example. So then I found a list of people who are considered either “polymaths” or “renaissance men”.

  • Imhotep
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Isaac Newton
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Carl Sagan
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Steve Jobs

Suddenly, I felt the burning pressure. How in the world could I have been able to stack up to these men throughout world history?

And then it had fallen upon me. I didn’t have to. I had simply received a compliment. Because in her eyes, I AM a “renaissance man”, and in my OWN right and merit.

What an awesome feeling it turned out to be! It is the best compliment that I have ever received in my entire life.

The problem with is, is when she had said it to me… the only thing that came to mind was Danny DeVito.