Shop Class as Soulcraft and Renaissance Men.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What does it mean to be a Renaissance Man? When looking for examples,  I stumbled upon former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Here is some of what he did in his 60 years of life:

State legislator, rancher, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York Governor,  police commissioner, Medal of Honor recipient, served two terms as President, author of over 30 books, was the first President to drive a car, and pilot a plane, read over 10,000 books (in multiple languages), explored the Amazon (not the website, the rainforest), started the U.S. Forest Service, and volunteered to lead an infantry unit in WWI at 59 years old. 

Once, Roosevelt was shot by a man on a Railway car, and pressed on to give a speech to over 10,000 people. Before his speech he stated, “I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”  He continued to speak to the crowd for over 90 minutes, and then decided to go to the hospital. 

I believe it is good to strive to accomplish as much a Roosevelt did in his life-time. It is apparent renaissance men are a dying breed in today’s day and age. Can you think of one? Our country needs more to come out of the woodwork and rise to the top, leading by example along the way. I will be the first to admit this was something I committed myself to before entering the Air Force Academy. It has been a humbling experience, and obviously not as fruitful as Roosevelt’s journey. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the adventure and have 30 more years to catch up!

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I challenge anyone who may be interested, to push yourself to become a jack/jane of all trades and master of none, like President Roosevelt (although he was probably a master of some). 

In other news, I have started reading a book titled, Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford. You can read it with me if you would like. I think Crawford’s message will fall in line well with this post. 

“On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.” – MatthewBCrawford.com

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