Some may read John Ruskin who doubt his conclusions. That makes me wonder why they would read him in the first place except that it might fit into their feelings of being smug and superior... As though reading the words of Ruskin allows them to feel as though they've mastered Ruskin and put him in his place in the intellectual scheme of things. How dare a man proclaim the spiritual infusion of society resultant from the exercise of craftsmanship! But in order to develop as a craftsman, one must care deeply about the results of one's labor. Within that caring is found the conviction to serve others, heart and soul, even when it requires effort to evolve in that service: Thus serving and making a relentless effort to become better at it.
Some study art history, thinking that by classifying works, they can gain a sense of mastery over the arts. But ask them to try painting like Jackson Pollack and they'll likely be afraid to get paint on their shoes.
In Maine and New Hampshire, prison inmates have been given the chance to turn their lives around through the exercise of craftsmanship as described by this blog post on Fine Woodworking's website.
"I am drawn to go into the prison because there is something wildly spiritual and adventurous about it," notes Furniture Master and program volunteer Tom McLaughlin. "When I enter the inmate's workshop, I am not thinking of myself as the good guy helping out a bad guy. Rather, we are two men who share a common creative passion, working together for good, without fear. It is exhilarating to think an encounter so small and simple can mean so much to a man's experience inside a prison, and beyond."