The great ignorance of our nation is that we have undervalued hand skills, and failed to offer full dignity to those who've developed them.
The point that is too often missed is that wisdom, a quality of character and intellect is best developed through the skilled, thoughtful, and observant use of our hands. Even those students going to college should be given hands-on training and experience of some kind.According to Charles H. Ham, Mind and Hand, Harper and Bros. 1886:
Poverty is the chief scourge of society; and it is a familiar economic fact that where the useful arts are most flourishing poverty is least pressing, so that to abolish poverty it would seem to be only necessary to multiply and extend the arts. And if poverty is to be abolished; if there is ever to be an ideal civilization, the controlling motive of humanity must be changed from selfishness to altruism; and this change can come only through love of work. So long as work shall be regarded as a "curse" the paramount purpose of the individual will be to avoid it, and to compel others to submit to it. Hence the antagonisms that arise at every point of human contact. The sum of these antagonisms is what we call the struggle of life, which is merely the struggle of each to survive at the expense of his fellows, and is therefore barbaric.There was also a great interview yesterday with neuroscience writer Jonah Lehrer about his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Read or listen here: 'How Creativity Works': It's All In Your Imagination. Lehrer fails to make a direct connection with the hands except the following about Steve Job's design of Pixar Studios:
"[Jobs] insisted there be only two bathrooms in the entire Pixar studios, and that these would be in the central space. And of course this is very inconvenient. No one wants to have to walk 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. And yet Steve insisted that this is the one place everyone has to go every day. And now you can talk to people at Pixar and they all have their 'bathroom story.' They all talk about the great conversation they had while washing their hands."If Lehrer had just a bit more of a hand-centric view, he might have offered his readers even greater insight.
Make, fix and create...