There are other additional, non-economic problems that result from our being a non-manufacturing nation. There are feelings that arise in the process of making things, or through physical exertion toward a common purpose even in the worst of circumstances. Feelings of power, competence, and control arise in the individual and in the culture as we accomplish real things. There is a distinct connection between economic depression and emotional depression and you will have noticed that the stock market rises and falls on consumer and investor confidence.
The following is from Kelly Lambert, author of Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist's Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain's Healing Power
"For a brain that evolved to move the body around in complex ways to interact with the world around us, our increasingly effortless lifestyles result in an unengaged brain that receives few reminders that we have meaningful control over our environments. Our brains' interpretation of a lack of control in our increasingly chaotic lives leads to greater stress and anxiety that often culminates in the symptoms of depression. Incorporating physical activity that leads to tangible meaningful rewards in our lives, something I call effort-driven rewards, can act as a form of a mental vitamin that builds emotional resiliency. Even better, tasks that utilize our hands are especially effective considering that a large proportion of our brains' "real estate" is directed toward their movement. Thus, the "chores" that were a necessary component of our grandparent's lives likely lifted their emotions in powerful ways."What Dr. Lambert describes can be observed in your own life. Woodworkers have called their time in the wood shop "sawdust therapy". All those who have had the opportunity to engage in tangible creative work shared with others, know the feelings of emotional vibrancy that emerge and sustain every aspect of self, including the brain power that enables clear thinking and problem solving. So the question becomes, "Is this something of value to pass on to our children?" So far, not so good. We are making the wrong choices by providing our children entertaining distractions from real life. Now who wants real life when we can live in perfect fantasy and delusion?
There is a simple solution for all that ails us: To make lastingly beautiful, creative and useful things can lift the economy, and lift the spirit. From the article referenced above:
"Now, after decades of closing down factories, throwing engineers and skilled production workers out of work, re-orienting those professions to military work and much of the educated class to finance, the U.S. is in the position of a developing country. We must try to catch up to Europe and Asia in any way that we can."Re-orienting much of our educated class to finance as we did didn't do much for us, did it? If you are not sure what to make, or how to get started, Fine Woodworking is doing a campaign on their website using my videos on box making to promote membership. You can download a sample for free or become a member and get lots more video content over the next few months. Box making is a good way to develop skills in woodworking and more.
Make, fix and create...