Time Enough for Everything

Renaissance Batman

One of my favorite Robert Heinlein quotes is,

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

I think Batman exemplifies this philosophy. There is nothing he cannot do. And if there is, he will learn it or figure out a way around it. Wikipedia agrees that he is capable of anything. As I strive to become a renaissance man, I am always on the look for new experiences. Mostly that breaks down to looking for links of cool things to add to my goals. Along those lines, Esquire recently featured an article called “75 Things Every Man Should Do.” The list is as follows:

  • Play rugby.
  • Repair an appliance.
  • Fly the red-eye from Vegas.
  • Fly a Cessna.
  • Make a list of seventy-five things you want to do before you die.
  • Fast for three days. Drink water.
  • Drive the Great Ocean Road in southern Australia. Or the Pacific Coast Highway.
  • Make a perfect omelet.
  • Drive by yourself from coast to coast.
  • Recognize the accomplishments of others.
  • Do a flip off a diving board.
  • Leave yourself a letter in a library book. Look for it twenty years later.
  • Watch a bad movie so often that when you see it by accident you can recite lines verbatim just before they are spoken.
  • Toboggan, aggressively.
  • Scuba dive.
  • Drink mescal in Mexico.
  • Cultivate a reputation.
  • Learn three to four chords on the guitar, until you can play one song.
  • Live in a hotel suite for a week.
  • Milk a cow. Drink that.
  • Build a fence.
  • Carry a totem in your pocket.
  • Help someone dig out.
  • Pick an animal. Something cool like a wolverine. Go see it in the wild.
  • Shoplift.
  • Throw a real party.
  • Live outside the homeland.
  • Start something that scares you.
  • Choose a word or a phrase and actively work to never use it again.
  • Eat mussels in Bruges.
  • Break a sheet of plate glass with a ball-peen hammer.
  • Cook the same thing (over and over) until you are known for it.
  • Overspend.
  • Have a threesome.
  • Quit something you love.
  • Take care of someone else’s three-year-old for a day.
  • Get very good at a sport that isn’t a sport.
  • Listen to war stories.
  • Tell war stories.
  • Write someone else’s life story without mentioning yourself.
  • Sing in public.
  • Sell everything you don’t need. Once.
  • Play golf at Carnoustie.
  • Play chess until you beat someone you shouldn’t, then quit forever.
  • Give up your seat.
  • Kill, dress, cook, and eat wild game.
  • Attend the funeral of someone you didn’t know that well.
  • Take a vow. Keep it.
  • Eat a six-course meal that you prepared.
  • Live at a high altitude.
  • Spend some time working for tips.
  • Overeat for a week. In Italy.
  • Make a movie, even a short one.
  • Give a panhandler all of your money.
  • Make beer, wine, or moonshine.
  • Read Lolita.
  • Have sex in a body of water.
  • Ride a horse.
  • Eat congee. Eat haggis. Eat tongue. Eat kidneys. Eat brain. Eat testicles.
  • Walk twenty miles. Bring water.
  • Go to the desert. Take long-lasting drugs. Drink water. (Counted as three items.)
  • Watch television for twenty-four hours uninterrupted.
  • Save something from the dump.
  • Climb something you are afraid of.
  • Get a manicure.
  • Eat a two-course meal that you grew.
  • Get a deep-tissue massage.
  • Sleep outside for a week.
  • Put a hundred bucks on a long shot. To win.
  • Go to Paris. Tell no one where you are. Stay there for two weeks.
  • Raise a dog.
  • Peg the speedometer.
  • Bungee jump.

Some of the items are better explained than others, which are left alone with no justification at all. I have definitely done some of these, and I want to do some others. Some of the items are actually opposites of my existing goals. Anything you think is stupid? Anything that catches your fancy? I am always looking for a friend to try things with!


4 thoughts on “Time Enough for Everything

  1. Bah! Esquire assumes all men are privileged enough to have the opportunity to do those things…

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