On Becoming Renaissance



Robert Genn of The Painter’s Keys recently wrote an article on Renaissance. After reading it, I think of it in terms of Becoming Renaissance.

Renaissance is defined as ‘rebirth.’ As an openness to change, rethinking, examination, and often reinvention of more classical forms, it was viewed as a bridge between Middle Ages and the Modern era. The renaissance emcompassed revolutions in intellectual and creative pursuits and it definitely wasn’t without social and political upheaval.

As a 40-something American witnessing, reading, and living movements within the past century, I often wonder how I might plant my creative revolution -and now I know. Amidst all the globalization of ideals, products, and of course, political strife, I’m gladdened to be a part of the micro-businesses that are beginning to thrive as a juxtaposition to big corporations.

Meanwhile, R. Genn feels the idea of renaissance has eight great principles that should be considered. I’ve outlined them with my comments included.

Curiosity as a way of thinking
I’m always accused of thinking -and rightfully so. I wonder how things work, either as a functioning gearbox to the components of production. Remain open-minded and you’ll stay alert.

Suspicion of authority and conventional wisdom
I shun the phrase, “It’s always been done this way and it will remain so.” This screams, “I refuse to grow and change with the times.” Stay away from short-circuited maxims like these.

Respect for intelligently filtered history
Understand the term presentism and you’ll crave a more pragmatic, investigative approach. One might also exercise objective knowledge by writing down 3 different perspectives to each belief:

Does the view change if:
-I’m coming from a different culture or religion?
-I’m from a different economic or class background?
-I’m a member of the opposite gender?

Interviewing friends also helps to see the issue from another side.

Aspiration to higher levels of achievement
Never be content. Enjoy what you’ve created and continue to move on to learn additional methods of technique or production.

Vision for renewed potential in all things
Whenever I collect items or ideas, new or used, I like to envision them as pulling double-duty. Found items and techniques can be delightful when integrated in a new composition.

Tendency to invent private systems
I’m constantly revising systems introduced to me to make them work better for me; sometimes I share those systems and sometimes I don’t. I also have several creative systems that are still in development.

Reinvention and perfection of former skills
Everything from mathematics, research, working out, painting, or music, I’m always seeking new ways to better these skills through life learning exercises. Okay, cooking, too.

Accepting the challenge of the difficult
I’ve always sought out the most difficult piece of sheet music to play and learn. It was always a challenge to learn each bar then piece them together with proficiency, but even more of a challenge to play musically. I look at life’s challenge’s this way, too:

-Break the difficult challenges into smaller segments (bars or phrases)
-Play each one (ie research, illustrate, compute) until you’re satisfied with the outcome, and
-Move forward to the next challenge.
-Rinse & Repeat

Formerly, I viewed difficult situations akin to golf: Each swing taken, from the tee to the final putt in the hole is viewed as tiny goals of the whole. Now, I like analogy of playing music: From the first note to the last, the entire piece performed is artfully finished.

I found a book several years ago called, “How to Think Like DaVinci; Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J Gelb. If you want to learn more about how you can live the renaissance lifestyle, this book guides one to understand human potential through the integration of mind, body, spirit, and soul. Plus it’s got self assessments throughout to track just how far off course you are -er, how far off course I am.

2 thoughts on “On Becoming Renaissance

  1. Madam says:

    What a brilliant recapture of the term ‘renaissance’ in todays world. As in the past, creativity and new ideas know no bounds so today you are adding your creativity to the renaissance of today’s world wide technology and inventive ideas. Don’t ever stop!


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