Whatever Happened to the "Renaissance Man"?

I've always identified as a musician, a songwriter, a composer and a performer. Although I always wrote, and always enjoyed doing it, I never took writing as seriously as I did music. I thought of it as a hobby. Sometimes I still think of myself as a temporarily blocked musician, but I'm beginning to check myself on that...

Why must we fascinating creatures focus only on one talent when we have so many? Whatever happened to the Renaissance Man or Woman? What happened to the Woman or Man of Letters? What happened to self-education and people wanting to be well-rounded by knowing at least a little bit about almost everything? I remember a teacher in high school once telling us that the problem with specialists is that they study longer and longer to learn more and more about less and less.

The thing is, we're all loaded with talents and abilities, most of which we're not even aware. Humans are creative beings. We don't just pass our time on this planet like the other animals with whom we share it, we create, we invent. We not only have the capacity to create, we possess a profound hunger to create. So why does society insist that creativity, and those of us who exercise it, are misfits, human oddities, and even miscreants?

When I was busy writing Night Music I often wondered if I'd missed my calling, but now, much older and a little wiser, I understand how ignorant that idea was. I don't have a calling. I compose, I write. I also draw, sculpt, cook, decorate, design websites, and make people laugh... different aspects of this thing we call creativity.

It seems to me the entire world has learned more and more about less and less, and in doing so, we have allowed ourselves to become more and more less and less.