|Me and the shuttle Enterprise|
These days, many kids seem to think that in order to make something you'll need a computer and a 3-D printer, for along the way, we've forgotten to introduce them to simple things... the joy you can make for yourself with scissors and string and then progressing to other simple tools of the various trades. Still, it seems that the hunger to make things is alive and well, and we need to make sure children have the opportunity. We need not start with complicated equipment, and we'd best start now.
This particular book was published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, but you would not know that from the simple tone of the book. There is no preaching tone from it as one might find in Christian books of today, as back then, in 1895, it was understood by nearly all that the values of craftsmanship were moral values by which human society and religious values were made secure. Put saws and hammers in the hands of people of all faiths, put literature and zealotry aside, and you'll find them joyously engaged.
At the American Museum of Natural History, the had a display of video interviews with a few scientists who described how they attempt to reconcile their religious beliefs with what they have come to learn of the real world... Not the biblical world described in a single book, but rather, what the actual circumstances of creation are, that can be discovered by a systematic examination of physical reality. There is another museum in Kentucky where they try to claim that dinosaurs and man walked the earth at the same time, and what huge stupidity there is in that.
If you believe in craftsmanship you are free to also believe in science, for the values are not conflicting. If you believe only in sacred books, your understanding of reality and of your place within the world will be necessarily distorted, bringing you to odds with those who've chosen other books to hold sacred and supreme.
But putting all that aside, give me a hammer and some nails, a saw and piece of wood, and your attention for a few minutes, and we'll make a box, and the world will be a better place from it. In making that box, we'll share the common values inherent in craftsmanship, and carry away from it the desire to share with others who we really are.
Yesterday, in addition to walking the high line from one end to the other, we visited the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. Today we head home from New York. The shuttle Enterprise was built as a prototype for atmospheric testing, and was never fitted out fully for space. But it is on display at the Intrepid Museum and standing along side, one marvels that they were ever able to launch such things in space.
Make, fix and create...