The Case for Working with Your Hands

Recently there was a great story in the NY Times, contrasting some of the differences in the contemporary job market and how fixing mechanical things isn't all that bad after all. The author is a well educated dude who dropped out of his cubicle and now fixes old motorcycles for a living. Maybe not as sexy as it reads, huh Wes? But it sure beats the hell out of prairie-dogging and TPS reports. Here's a couple of my favorite quotes:

"If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college (though they certainly need to learn). Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things. One shop teacher suggested to me that “in schools, we create artificial learning environments for our children that they know to be contrived and undeserving of their full attention and engagement. Without the opportunity to learn through the hands, the world remains abstract and distant, and the passions for learning will not be engaged.”

In the boardrooms of Wall Street and the corridors of Pennsylvania Avenue, I don’t think you’ll see a yellow sign that says “Think Safety!” as you do on job sites and in many repair shops, no doubt because those who sit on the swivel chairs tend to live remote from the consequences of the decisions they make."

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