The Light of Recovery……… “CATCH ME IF YOU CAN” During a book signing session, following a speaking event on “First Impressions – False Perceptions”, a woman told me that, after hearing my life story, she said it was like listening to a “Renaissance Man”. Later that evening, reflecting on her compliment, I had to think about her interesting analysis. I had been called many things in my life but never a “Renaissance Man”. Basically, a Renaissance Man (or woman) is a person who is considered “enlightened” in all subjects, a well-educated individual, sophisticated, with talent, knowledge and proficiency in a wide range of fields. A person highly cultured with many interests, an expert in several areas. Now, that was too impressive for me. And then I began to think about the basic definition of “Renaissance”. Literally, “Renaissance” is defined as “Rebirth” in French. Now, I could relate to that definition. See, in the past forty years my personal “Renaissance” had been about the “Rebirth” of my soul and not about the professional adventures that I had experienced, many times, in a deceitful way. As I reflect on all the professions and occupations that I either talked my way, or worked my way into, the 2002 movie, “Catch Me If You Can” came into my mind. Like the real life of Frank Abagnale, I realized I could be a very convincing “con artist”. See another definition of “Renaissance Man” in today’s world is “a very clever person. Someone who is quick to understand, learn, devise and apply ideas”. Now, I could relate to that description. Instead of considering myself to be “cultured”, I thought of myself as being “clever”. Remember, in “Catch Me If You Can”, Frank Abagnale successfully posed as, among other fictitious identities, a jet airline pilot, a medical doctor and a state prosecutor without ever attending flight school, medical school or law school. I realized that, in many ways, but on lower levels, I had led a similar life many times. See, for me, it was always the challenge, the “game”, the adventure, the risk of deception. Not only was I very successful undercover living with three fictitious identities for several years, I was also very good at deceiving people in other professions that I talked my way into without any real experience. To give you a perception of my deception, I created a rock band in high school as a drummer without any knowledge of how to play the drums. I talked my way into a position as a graphic artist with the Bureau of Customs in Washington, D.C. with very little artistic talent, using a portfolio of artwork that I had stolen from another graphic artist. I was also hired as a printed circuit drafting engineer by Westinghouse Corporation with no engineering degree, no knowledge of electronics, no drafting experience and no understanding of printed circuit boards. I never saw a printed circuit board before being hired. However, I think my most impressive challenge was to create a center for Mind-Body Medicine with no credentials, no license and no formal education or training. And so, my question to you is simple. As a “Renaissance Man”, was I “cultured” or “clever”? You can contact me my responding on Facebook, sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a message to my website, www.michaelbkaminski.com . If you have any topic ideas, please send them to me.