Be a Renaissance Man

On Being a Modern Gentleman:

Guideline 18: Be a Renaissance Man

The modern gentleman, a reader and an orator, should strive also to be a renaissance man. A renaissance man, or a polymath, is a person whose knowledge or expertise spans a number of areas. Polymaths often have a deep understanding of literature, history, art, religion, science, and hands-on subjects like engineering or construction. Most of the greats, e.g., Ben Franklin, da Vinci, Francis Bacon, were polymaths.

Having interests in many fields helps to make you a more interesting conversationalist, a stronger orator, more attractive to potential love interests, and, let’s not forget, more knowledgeable–which is a worthy goal in and of itself. There are a variety of ways to approach this: take classes; visit museums; read; join a club; hell, watch the Science Channel or other learning channels. I heartily endorse EdX, a collection of free online courses offered through MIT, Harvard, and other partner schools. I recently completed a few courses in history and science and was really impressed.

Become a polymath this April, at the very least, you’ll be a hit during trivia games.


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