Relevant Renaissance, Part 2

it’s dif­fi­cult to be upright and per­verse, emo­tion­al and intel­lec­tu­al, impen­e­tra­ble and vul­ner­a­ble, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the integri­ty and val­ue of all of them.

—corus aqui­lo

This is the first time that a com­ment has been so good, it spawned anoth­er entry (although I fail to see how being a well-round­ed indi­vid­ual has any­thing to do with per­son­al iden­ti­ty, so I cut that part out).

In P.E. dur­ing high school, I learned that there’s no such thing as the per­fect ath­lete. If some­one builds up their speed, they lose endurance. If some­one works on their strength, they lose flex­i­bil­i­ty. To be a per­fect ath­lete is impos­si­ble, because there’s a very strict phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tion involved.

To be well round­ed in a much more gen­er­al sense, to be a mod­ern day (non-ped­a­gog­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant) Renaissance Man, on the oth­er hand, is only lim­it­ed by the mind. This means that many qual­i­ties do not oppose each oth­er the way phys­i­cal qual­i­ties do. One can be cere­bral, intel­lec­tu­al, yet emo­tion­al at the same time. One can be firm and opin­ion­at­ed about recy­cling, yet open-mind­ed about god and reli­gion, all at once. One can appre­ci­ate fuck­ing hard and fuck­ing gen­tly, because one does not take away from the oth­er.

The key to this is a sep­a­ra­tion of self from bias. One has to be able to appre­ci­ate any­thing from any oth­er point of view. To do this requires an almost pure­ly sub­jec­tive mind­set, tear­ing one­self away of ones own bias. Only then can one improve in any aspect. The hard­est thing, as not­ed by corus aqui­lo, is keep­ing the integri­ty and val­ue of both, because appre­ci­a­tion, not enjoy­ment, is the true mea­sure of being round­ed. They may go hand-in-hand, as appre­ci­a­tion often leads to enjoy­ment, but it’s the basis of such that becomes impor­tant. There’s a fine line between those who enjoy a box of Kraft Dinner as much as 20 oz. New York steak, and those who can appre­ci­ate the two. The for­mer is con­sid­ered a per­son with no taste, the lat­ter can be con­sid­ered a cos­mopo­lite.

The Olympic decathlon record hold­er often holds the title of “the Worlds Greatest Athlete”. It’s the only objec­tive test of all around ath­let­ic abil­i­ty, mea­sured in speed, spring, strength, and sta­mi­na. To be a bet­ter per­son in the gen­er­al sense, is to be a round­ed in much the same man­ner. The mea­sure is any­thing from con­ver­sa­tion­al skills, to gen­eros­i­ty, to golf hand­i­cap, to patience, to aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ments.

The only objec­tive test is life.

One comment

  1. Oh wow, that’s deep in it’s own lit­tle way. I get what you’re try­ing to say though, makes sense. =)

Leave a Reply