BY SAVONNE JOHNSON

Leonardo Da Vinci is known as a Renaissance Man – a man that had many interests and mastered many disciplines in his life. He was steadfast in his pursuit of knowledge. He took great pleasure in discovering the world around him. He was enthralled with the study of nature and its secrets.

The Renaissance – the time where Leonardo Da Vinci lived – was a period in which individuals were free to explore the world (and themselves) in a deeper fashion. If one wanted to be a poet, sculptor, engineer, insert any profession, then they were free to pursue such vocations. This is in direct contrast to the preceding Middle Ages, in which adherenceto dogma and doctrine stamped out much of one’s own passions of self discovery outsidethe norm.

What can we learn from Leonardo’s life? If human beings are given the power to choose their own path in life, they can direct their will towards those efforts that will bring them dignity. Leonardo is known for his skill as a painter, but he also had interests in sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology and cartography. He did not limit himself to only one dimension of study because he realized that all of his interests informed one another. This was a prevailing thought during the Renaissance: that the human being has limitless potential.

This process of “knowing thyself,” is continual. We must look at our own lives and utilizeour imagination for the purposes of discovering our true selves: the human being that WE want to become. We must observe the world around us (Nature) and see the world within us to catalyze our transformation.

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