Monday, April 06, 2009

what is the value and meaning of work?

Today I will spend another day competing with the Chinese. I have some small boxes to make to fill holes in my inventory and I will work on two tables I've started. I will spend some time at school getting ready for tomorrow's classes.

When something is made, start to finish, by a real human being, the consequence is greater than the shaping of the object made. The materials used in making the object came from someplace where their loss may be felt, like the opening in the woods where a tree once stood. The time used in making was allocated away from other things; Less time in front of the TV, perhaps. The maker of the object was also shaped in profound ways. Perhaps he or she had done the same things thousands of times before, and worked mindlessly and to little internal effect. Or perhaps the maker worked attentively, caring for the perfection of each detail, shaping his or her inner landscape with unseen consequences. While one maker may have cared nothing for the act of making, another may have envisioned it as a process of unification with the creative forces inherent in the universe.

As I wander off to the wood shop to compete with the Chinese, which shall I choose today? You, as a maker or consumer will make choices of your own, either *building culture and society by grasping your own creativity and enabling others,* or by choosing expedience over quality and shopping for best price regardless of consequence to community. When these decisions are made by an individual, the consequences seem small, almost unmeasurable. But when a whole society makes the same choices, the impact is enlarged to the point of overwhelming. We see this in the degradation of our planet. So we now are challenged to change things. See *above* to know what.

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