The second meaning for a Man of Letters is a Humanist. A classical scholar or student of the liberal arts. A man who turns the classics of philosophies to come closer to living a more meaningful life by trying to understand the universe in which he lives.
I am striving in no small way to become a renaissance man. By focusing my energies on history, philosophy, politics, art, drama, poetry, and literature (classic and contemporary).
My goal is to be renowned for the pure breadth of my erudition and expertise in the arts. To do this you have to correspond with experts in the fields of endeavors that important. That is why I email all you every day. In doing so I am already becoming a better man. Each of you is my greatest of friends and men I love as brothers.
By writing to you every day is has helped me to organize my writing and I can already see leaps in only the first couple of weeks. Sharing with you insights to writing and military history has made my life immeasurably better. I am always open to constructive criticism. It’s how one grows.
Reflection helps to build character. Writing and introspection has amazing therapeutic benefits. Writing down your deepest feelings about emotional upheaval in your life can really help you view a situation. Some writers have found their immune systems strengthened. Others have seen their personal relationships improve. Sometimes entire lives have changed.
To do anything well you have to practice a lot. I write to you guys, update several websites where I work on blog content, attempt to write three to four letters or postcards a day. In the end is to become a better writer whose prose is more efficient and effective.
Practicing the Craft
A known fact for becoming an adept Man of Letters you have to spend long, solitary hours writing. I best at this first thing in the morning. I get up at four every day and spend the next six hours writing, exercising or reading.
I also have been trying to get out more. Using the writing to live an isolated life is no excuse. A couple of local hangouts have become my stomping grounds. This allow for important social interaction and lively conversations. Many of them are perfect fodder for writing material.
I am a t-shirt and jeans, hamburger and beer kind of guy. My family on both sides were deep blue collar in the coal mines and steel mills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Despite that I have been trying to become more cultured. I have been going to local museums, local expositions and visit the library almost daily. All of these places are provocative and help kindle ideas.
In the end I have tried to develop an appreciation for art, music, poetry and the great literary works. It’s been hard trying to find balance between contemporary and classical art forms. I have been trying to do it all without being a snob. Being a pretentious know-it-all is no gentleman at all.
Being a Gentlemen
My mother once said, “A true gentleman understands the reality of a situation and does the kindest thing to help a person.” In the end it’s never about where you live but how you live.
Glad to have you guys along for the ride. Tomorrow we will start our study of war and literature. One day will be about the many forms that war may take. This will be the narrative vehicle we use to study history.
The next day will begin our study of literature will start at the beginning of recorded time. Great literary works provide a backdrop as to how man reacted to warfare and his changing world around him.
To have an understanding of both will help us live more meaningful lives. Know you are loved, missed and thought of often.