My mother commented often about how well educated people like George Washington, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were. The implication being that they were better educated than people today.
My comeback was that yes these men were well educated, but fields like medicine and science had hardly begun to be explored. There were fewer books. Fewer things to know.
Setting excuses aside, getting your head around ‘everything’ at any time would be daunting. Some days I can hardly get my head around the most simple aspects of anything. That’s part of what makes Leonardo da Vinci so fascinating. He had a mind for everything.
This week, we visited DaVinci, The Genius – an exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa. The largest showcase of Da Vinci’s work ever. The scope of his work is astounding – from art to astronomy to flight to architecture to war machines.
He built on the best work of the past – Greek mathematician Archimedes and Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius – tackled the challenges of his day, and created designs that are the basis of mechanisms used today. Bridges. Parachutes. Clocks, Scuba equipment. Gears. It was amazing to see. And inspiring. Particularly since, born a bastard, Da Vinci was barred from formal education.
If you have an opportunity to see this exhibit, take it. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.