Saturday, December 15, 2012

failing to engage our children in creative acts...

Years ago Felix Adler, professor of Columbia University and founder of the Workingman's School in New York City, told about the moral implications of craftsmanship. Those of weak will and with failings of moral character would find redemption in society, and strength of purpose within self, through training in the wood shop. The poor, and those lacking in moral fiber were not the only ones Adler saw as finding great benefit through creative acts and even the children of the rich would benefit in character  and moral fiber by working with their hands.

So now, instead, we feed our young an unrestricted diet of digital destruction, and then wonder why tragic events like that at Newtown would occur. Can it be that our schools are failing our children? Or that parents failing to see the redemptive value of craftsmanship, would neglect to engage their own children in creative acts?

It is the old dilemma of swords vs. plowshares in a nutshell. In the Hindu religion Shiva represented both our creative and destructive inclinations and recognized the fine line between the two.  Those who do not find themselves aligned with human creative inclinations, may choose darker means through which to discover self.

On another subject, British Woodworking published an article based on the paper I presented to the Crafticulation Conference in Helsinki in Sept. 2008. The Article, called "Wisdom of the Hands," describes the making of tools for educational purposes in the Clear Spring School woodshop. I have asked for a link and will provide it when I am able.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

jessica wilson said...

I appreciate these words so very much. Thank you!