Leonardo of Vinci: The Man of Many Talents

Today we went to the Museum of Science and Technology. We had a magnificent, Italian woman take us through the museum and show us the different exhibits. Most of the museum focused on the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. While living in Milan, Leonardo did much of his best work. They say that this is because the Duke of Milan was willing to support Leonardo throughout all of his different works rather than simply contracting him out to do one specific task. The Duke of Milan had the time, money, and patience to be willing to let Leonardo do whatever he wanted during his time. This allowed him to creatively flourish. Leonardo had many passions that he managed to pursue at an extremely high level: painting, engineering, anatomy, etc.

I think that the most interesting this that motivates me the most is that in everything he did he was one of the best in the field. He wasn’t only the best architect, but he was the best war engineer and much more. The concept that a man could have so many different roles that he served while maintaining supreme quality in each one is absolutely astounding. Most people take a lifetime and can never even reach the level that he is at in a single one of his talents whereas he was able to do all of them and make it look relatively easy. I can’t think of a single other person who was able to fulfill so many different roles without being spread thin or losing quality. It makes me think that although I want to be an electrical engineer, I could still pursue passions of mine such as music or anything else.

What makes me most curious about Leonardo is that he managed to think of things so far ahead of his time. He was thinking about flying machines that weren’t created until four centuries from then. He was more than just one step ahead of the crowd. He was leaps and bounds beyond. It makes me wonder what it would be like if he was alive today. It makes me want to try to think so outside of the box like he was able to do. I don’t even understand how he could possibly be thinking of things so much more advanced than what he was seeing in existence around him. If he were alive today or if someone where to be able to be on his level of expertise, what would happen to the world? What would he be designing? He wouldn’t just be solving an existing problem like self driving cars, he would be coming up with some completely different idea like completely abandoning cars and replacing it with some machine of his own design. It’s just hard to wrap your mind around how you’d even go about trying to think like that. I wonder if perhaps it was only because he was in a time where these fields weren’t nearly as advanced as they are today. Today in order to get up to speed in all of those fields I don’t know if he would be able to do all of it within a lifetime. To get a current medical degree takes many years, same for engineering, same for everything else was good at. Perhaps it’s because he wasn’t just learning all of this in university, but rather through his own creative discovery that he was able to learn everything. I suppose that if people today were so motivated and so talented as he was that they could try to make strides in many different fields. I think that Elon Musk is the closest we have today to Leonardo. Musk made PayPal, then Tesla and their electric cars and attempts at self driving, and also is trying to go to inhabit Mars with SpaceX. I hope that one day I can be on the level of diversity in my works as the two of them. They made such incredible advances to society through each of their projects, which makes me want to be more than some standard electrical engineering who just works for someone else and instead make something that makes a difference and do that not just once, but many times in many ways.

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