I was reminded this week of the term polymath - and how society will either worship or vilify such persons or both, simultaneously usually. Einstein was disregarded by his professors for his questioning and argumentative nature - then banished to a life as a lowly patent clerk where he did his best work in his spare time - what he would be remembered for. Abraham Lincoln is credited with abolishing slavery, but was also despised and highly criticized in office and eventually shot. He was a statesman, but also wrote this:
Could Jesus sing or dance or paint? Funny he was treated the same as polymaths hence - a dilettante possibly - that water to wine trick?. A 'jack of many trades', yet master of none? DaVinci made money designing stage sets for royalty's entertainment - yet also conceived the helicopter and did a few small paintings. Shen Kuo was a polymathic scientist and statesman - as was Thomas Jefferson.
"Oh. they're much too much for me. Let's put them down. Make them down, lest they make me lower. I am not thus so I cannot accept. I will listen when they die - but only when they die. When their din is gone. When I can speak to simple people in simple ways, I say. When I can have my say. Without the interference of multiple intelligences", says society.
Oh the gifts we burn to let another generation resurrect their ashes for study, never fully knowing the full measure of their impact, alive - those polymaths.
D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
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