Some people feel a sense of pride when they see items proudly proclaiming they were made in America. Others prefer labels that boast of sustainability and being made from recycled material. Among the more impressive labels are those that signal the product was made by hand. It could be that the product was hand stitched, or a graphic was hand drawn. Perhaps an item was hand cut. It just means that an actual human took the time to do the job with care and not just feed it through an assembly line for machines to manage.
We are willing to pay more for those products because they are one of a kind. There will never be another quite like it. No person can precisely reproduce the same procedure twice. Each hand cut item will be cut a little differently. You can call them flaws. But that would be missing the point. They are not flaws, but signatures.
Besides satisfying artistic impulses, there are good reasons to make things by hand:
- It creates a sense of self-confidence
- It gives you survival skills
- It is more sustainable
There will be plenty of times in your life when going to the store or ordering out are not available options. Money might be tight. Or you might need to repair something that is broken. Being able to make things allows you an extra measure of independence. Here are a few things you should know how to do for yourself:
Every little girl and boy needs to learn the basics of kitchen work. It takes a lot of time to master. It makes sense to start young. Often, little girls are taught the art of cooking while little boys go outside and learn the art of throwing a football. One of those skills is considerably more valuable than the other. Hint: It’s cooking.
Instead of sending the boys outside to play, teach them the proper use of and care for premium saucepans. Teach them the dos and don’ts of quality kitchenware. Train them in the safe and proper use of kitchen knives when it is age appropriate. make sure that by the time they leave home, they know how to distinguish quality kitchenware from junk. It goes without saying that there is an awful lot of junk out there. An adult that cannot cook for themselves has a major disadvantage in life. Make sure that disadvantage does not plague your kids, or you.
Arts and Crafts
You don’t want to have to pay someone every time you want something gift wrapped. paper crafts are not only fun, they cultivate useful skills. Creativity is one of the most useful skills you can cultivate. Everyone has some spark of creativity. For many, it was never fanned into a flame of creative productivity.
Crafts also help with problem solving. It is not just a matter of figuring out how to wrap an odd-shaped gift. The same tools you use for solving a craft project can also help you with an engineering problem. Cultivating your art brain can even benefit scientific pursuits. By learning to do crafts by hand, you are unlocking your potential for a lot of things that require creativity.
Basic Car Maintenance
Some driving instructors downplay the need to know how to do something as fundamental as changing a tire. It is true that tires are not very easy to remove. But stopping by the side of a busy highway and waiting on a repair person to come by is a bit of a dicey proposition. Knowing how to change a tire can get you back on the road regardless of whether or not your cell phone has power. Learning to do the basics can save your life.
Do Your Own Taxes
These days, it is easy to have someone else do your taxes. But tax preparers are not necessarily professionals. They just took more time to study it than you. At the very least, you should know how to do your taxes so that you can check the work of the one who did it on your behalf. Also, it is a major political concern. You can’t really follow the debate if you don’t have a real-world understanding of how income tax works. Learning to prepare your own taxes not only informs you, but allows you to be fully vested in the process of tax reform.
You don’t have to become a professional at any of these things. But your life can be materially enhanced if you learn to cook, do creative things, basic maintenance, and tax preparation.