Monday, February 12, 2018

to lead you must serve.

My finger joint article on the Fine Woodworking website has gone live at this address:

Today my high school students will paint the insides of our Bevins Skiffs with primer. We are closing in on the completion of the project. There are lots of steps to building a boat and at this point we've completed most of them.

I ordered oars and oar locks even though some of my students have told me they would prefer that we make our own oars. We would run out of time before the school year ends, given the other things they and we need to accomplish.

In the wood shop at Clear Spring School, my younger students will be making toy unicorns and troll dolls.

There is an old Chinese saying embedded in the I Ching that if you want to rule, you must first serve. The truth of it may be witnessed in the flow of cardboard to and from the Chinese nation. They send us the things they have made, and we send them (along with hoards of cash)  the used cardboard packaging so it can be recycled, remade into new boxes, filled and sent back for more cash. The balance of payments is enormous, and rooted in the decisions American policy makers have made for us. We would (they said) no longer need to compete as a manufacturing nation. We would be a service economy, flipping burgers for each other (at one level of the economy) while the top echelon, the wealthy elite, skimmed the cream from the trade taking place within and between nations.

Enough of that. The hidden cost of having chosen to make nothing is the diminishment of mind. Around the world and in so many places we seem to have surrendered world leadership to the Chinese. Let's hope they do a better job of it and that we come to our senses.

And speaking of the senses, the hands are the primary instruments through which intelligence is fabricated. How does this work? The eyes see, and the hands reach out to ascertain the truth of what the eyes have revealed. The hands then respond to test, measure, make and learn to serve others.

Make, fix, create, learn from it, and pass the opportunity along to others so that they may learn likewise.

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