Polymath. Before I get into what polymath is all about. I believe the need to share my personal experience on how I got into polymath and the experience of meeting real life polymaths (Yes! We do exist in secret and unrecognized, hidden away from society). Sounds like a secret organization isn’t it? Nah, polymath is actually really common in today’s world and there are many of us. People are just not familiar on what it is and how it is actually impacting our school, university, colleges and society.
This idea kind of started taking root in my brain and soul like a cancer ever since I was in high school. You know, we all went to high school. I remember crystal clear on the first day of registration. I can choose between science or art stream. Which ever we choose depends on our passion and dreams, and most importantly our examination qualification in order to get into either one of the study field. (Kinda boring and lame to be honest if your ask me, our education system literally blocks students and kids from actually learning how to think and indulge in knowledge). Anyways, I choose science because I loved it. My favorite branch of science till this day is chemistry, astronomy and physics. Anything to do with the left side of the brain I suppose. Whether its solving mathematics or physics problems to critical thinking is my kind of thing.
Basically, we learned everything as kid in school up to high school indirectly I suppose. Let me give you an example, we pick up the language (It can be more than 1) and writings skills. We learned mathematics, art, science, algebra, music , geometry, geography and the list goes on. You get it. Eventually, as we grow up and settle in college and university in order to get our qualification in specific field of studies and land our dream job. The end. Right? Wrong! That’s a very dangerous path which lead to ignorance of knowledge and our understanding of the world even narrowing our sight on what’s important. Ever since,I had this whole idea and perception about polymath and Im privileged that I got to meet less than a dozen people in my life who are a polymath and have contribute a lot to society. They will be anonymous. However, I will provide a list of famous polymaths by the end of this blog as well all my research materials.
Finally, polymath! I know you’ve been wanting to know what on earth is a polymath. I bet you just googled that. Polymath: is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. (Thats the direct translation from wikipedia) You googled that for sure! Polymath in the common tongue simply means a person who is passionate about learning different branch of study field. It can be anything. Let me give you an example of the term itself poly (many) and math (learning) is the greek version of it. You put those together. Learning many. Polymaths also see themselves as generalist which is the opposite of specialist. There is a whole dichotomy to it. You know day and night, good and evil, ying and yang, monomath and polymath, narrow and broad, generalist and specialist. I highly recommend that once you’ve read this blog, do watch a Tedx video by Ella Saltmarshe on All power to the polymath. I will put the link at the end of the blog as well. I will admit, my confidence to have this blog and being a polymath was boost by watching her explain and support all the polymaths out there. I guess its a shoutout to her?
You don’t have to be a genius to be a polymath. You just need to be skillful in the area of your expertise and the field of your passion. Constant curiosity and the eagerness to learn. Like the great saying says “A fool thinks he knows everything but a wise man knows he has much to learn”. I have no idea who said that, it just pop out from my juicy brain. I pray and hope that all the polymaths out there reading this, step out from the shell and embrace your gifts and identity as a polymath, the world need you folks and your multi discipline insights. I hope I was able to convey my understanding towards polymath and its significant. I will write more on polymath and what it takes to become one before I venture into my actual study fields and contents. I hope you enjoy reading this blog and like I said before, Im open to suggestions and criticism, always listening.
Italian Renaissance Polymath: Leonardo Da Vinci
List of famous polymaths:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Alexander Graham Bell
- Sir Isaac Newton
- Benjamin Franklin
- Abu Rayhan al-Biruni
- John von Neumann
- Hildegard von Bingen
- Julian Klincewicz
- Jamie Foxx and Tony Stark? (I let you decide on that)
- All power to the polymath: Ella Saltmarshe at TEDxLSE 2013
- Astronomer Copernicus or Conversations with God