Learning Now What We Didn't Then

October 27, 2017

Instead of studying for botany, I have decided to rack up as many clicks as I can, visiting random websites, attempting to give my well-deserved brain a break. A five-minute break that turns into an interruption of exactly 52 minutes has led me to stumble upon information on renaissance law that is still relevant in today’s society, and definitely not relevant for the botany practicum on Thursday.



 Photo: João Silas on Unsplash 


The article was centered around Leonardo da Vinci and the effects of imprisonment on his later art. The renaissance was a period between the 14th century and the 17th century, but it has continued to stay alive in 2017, with a romantic flourish and intriguing ideology. However, what I read in this article completely lacked anything remotely similar to the propitiousness portrayed in today’s society. In da Vinci’s time, boxes were positioned throughout the city, and citizens were allowed to write notices to lawmakers regarding the transgressions of their peers who would await penance. The effect on the famed artist? Leonardo was jailed for 2 months at the age of 24 due to an incognito notice that had been put in a box, stating that he was homosexual (something illegal at the time). Though his confinement was short, the impact it had on his work was evident until he died. Inventions that centered around breaking away from a cage were prominent throughout his work. This struck me, as the citizens of Florence turned on their fellow man when offered the anonymity of these “morality boxes.”


Thousands of years ago, a form of cyberbullying existed, proving that humanity hasn’t evolved very much. We all fear coming forward, and we run towards inconspicuousness to prevent us from being held accountable for the actions we attempt to hold others responsible for. Law and politics have not molded to the demands of an ever-changing society, and we are consistently held back from progress by a strange selfish fear, which is all too human. We all snobbishly claim to have reached constant human improvement, without truly striving toward the advancements that may come at the cost of our pride. The renaissance may lack the compassion we have yet to find. Society held onto pettiness, while da Vinci turned this conflict into the creation of designs. If we all take our humanity into account, rather than focusing on the secret destruction of others, we may be able to flourish as this artist once did.


The main point of my random web-surfing: we must push past previously held barriers in order to find innovation as a society. One thing I didn’t find while clicking around? How to pass this damn botany practical.


Keri Watters is a twenty-year-old junior at Concord University majoring in pre-professional Biology. Before medical school, she aspires to join the Peace Corps or further her education with a masters degree. Keri is a passionate volunteer worker and vegetarian who hopes to inspire change through a multitude of mediums. She hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spends her free time shopping, drinking coffee, and watching old movies.


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