Greetings once again from sunny Florida where hopefully I am enjoying myself, but probably not so much.

I have learned something in the last few weeks, and its something that I suspect was once common knowledge, and has been lost.  These is a tremendous satisfaction in building or doing things for yourself.  I feel that this is a thread that has been lost in our culture, and I think it affects our personal and national pride.

In the last few weeks, I have planted two trees in my yard.  I have installed a coyote catcher on my fence.  Jenn and I have been raising baby chickens.  I tore down a garden structure.  Jenn planted a bunch of food plants.  Lastly, just this morning (as of writing) I finished building a goat house in my yard.  The goat house was the very first time I envisioned a structure in my mind, and was able to create it wholly in the world.  When I get back from Florida, I plan on building some square-foot gardens and a chicken coop.

I have never done any of this before.  In the past, my solution would have been to pay someone else do it, or to not do it at all.  I would never have known the satisfaction working with my own hands.  It creates such an energy in your soul.  To go out into the sun, and sweat from honest labor is a new experience for me. Its energizing and invigorating in a way I never imagined.

How many people have also gone their entire lives and never built anything?  They take pride in how much they pay the gardener, the baby sitter and the maid.  They don’t know how to change their spark plugs, change a tire, put in a post, frame out a wall, or even to trim a tree.  Whats the worst thing that can happen?  Get out there and do it.  Facebook will still be there when you are done.

What the hell happened to us?  We are the lost children of the same great nation that reached across two oceans to crush fascism, settled a continent, split the atom, touched the moon, and once built the best of everything in the world.  We were a nation of pioneers that went and settled where no European, and sometimes no man at all, had ever seen before.  We settled a great nation, and built ourselves up from nothing, to stand strong enough to spit in the face of our colonial masters.  If we couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done.

That great soul still lies within us, if we only know where to look.  I felt a fleeting touch of it this week as I built and worked.  I know that somewhere inside of me lies the rest of it.  I want to find it, channel it, and live it.  I will go forward, unafraid to fail, because I know it will make me stronger.  Its out there for everyone, you just have to reach for it.

Doesn’t that feel like it’s missing from this country?  We are now a nation without purpose, and I believe one reason is because we don’t build anymore.  We have a generation that takes pride on doing nothing.  They go to school to avoid working.  They look for an office job because they are afraid of working with their hands.  They bitch that the government doesn’t take care of them enough because they don’t want to work too hard.  Go tell your grandfather that sweated for 12 hours a day in a steel mill, or worked from sun up to sun down on a farm, that you can just hire someone.  He would whoop your ass.

We don’t stand tall anymore, because we don’t believe that we can overcome any challenge anymore.  Whether as a nation, or in our own lives, we walk softly, but we dropped the big stick.  Stop paying everyone else to do for you, get out there and do it yourself.  We do so many things to fill the void inside of us, whether its sex, drugs or rock and roll.  Maybe we should actually build something to fill that void, and maybe make the world better while we do it.

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