Iconoclast

Today I am home resting in preparation for a recital in PA. I just finished watching a show called Iconoclasts where Robert Redford and Paul Newman visit and talk for about 45 minutes about what it means to be "them". I am inspired by the humble spirit presented there. They are nearing the end of their journey on this world, and they seem to have learned what it was and is all about. Discussion returns constantly to doing something, making a difference in the world and their world. Both have turned success in one vein into opportunities to grow and succeed in other veins. Seems like a model I would aspire to follow.

A few themes jumped out at me..
1. The need for balance in life between work, play, identity, purpose...
2. Devotion to something other than themselves, without sacrificing themselves...
3. Acceptance of what the world thinks about them, but not allowing the world to define them or their actions...
4. Realization that they are blessed.. no way to explain why... and the understanding that others have far more of a contribution to the "world" . The others just lack exposure.
5. Understanding that nothing comes without hard work and discipline. Both are free spirits, who then use structure and governance to channel their success
6. They don't dwell on their failures...


Definition of Iconoclast...
---One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
---One who destroys sacred religious images.

Word History: An iconoclast can be unpleasant company, but at least the modern iconoclast only attacks such things as ideas and institutions. The original iconoclasts destroyed countless works of art. Eikonoklasts, the ancestor of our word, was first formed in Medieval Greek from the elements eikn, “image, likeness,” and -klasts, “breaker,” from kln, “to break.” The images referred to by the word are religious images, which were the subject of controversy among Christians of the Byzantine Empire in the 8th and 9th centuries, when iconoclasm was at its height. In addition to destroying many sculptures and paintings, those opposed to images attempted to have them barred from display and veneration. During the Protestant Reformation images in churches were again felt to be idolatrous and were once more banned and destroyed. It is around this time that iconoclast, the descendant of the Greek word, is first recorded in English (1641), with reference to the Byzantine iconoclasts. In the 19th century iconoclast took on the secular sense that it has today, as in “Kant was the great iconoclast” (James Martineau).


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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