Sunday, December 27, 2020

finding a common truth

 I've heard from a number of friends and family members over the holidays, even from distant countries, and it appears we are living in pretty much the same world. Covid-19 is an equalizer of sorts in that it is forcing us all to recognize a common truth. 

We've been lied to and deceived about the dangers of the disease. Some have lost loved ones due to the lies. But lies only work until they've been laid bare by circumstances intruding from the real world. The sun comes up and lays the truth bare. We all have been made clearly aware that Covid-19 is real. It is dangerous and we would all be safer now while waiting on the vaccine if we had all been encouraged to take it seriously from the outset. I can point to the number of lies we've been told. I can name them and name who told them, but that would not solve the problem we face.

While Covid-19 is taking a much larger toll on the poor, and a much lighter toll on those who have the means to work from home or are retired, we all face the same risks when we venture out, and most are taking greater care in their daily lives. We are among the lucky ones. We've learned how to stay safe and have the means to do so.

In the early days of manual arts training in the US it was proposed by educational sloyd that all should receive training in the manual arts. Even those who were going to college and were to have everything done for them by minions were to benefit by being humanized in the manual arts. In the Jewish faith the Talmud warned:

"As it is your duty to teach your son the law, teach him a trade. Disobedience to this ordinance exposes one to just contempt, for thereby the social conditions of all are endangered… He who does not have his son taught a trade prepares him to be a robber… He who applies himself to study alone is like him who has no God."


Martin Luther insisted that each man be taught a trade, not just one of the mind, but of the whole body, that human culture might be of whole cloth. 

One thing that learning a trade did, and that the manual arts also did, was to bring all students into a relationship with the fundamental reality upon which all other learning should be based. The manual arts develop the skills of observation, problem solving and hypothesis, while also creating a sense of the dignity of all labor and empathy toward those who perform it.

Now a days, it's become perfectly acceptable to tell whatever lie you can get away with or to fudge the truth in the belief that if you can get others to believe what you believe, then you've found some victory of sorts. What a shallow, shameless world ours has become. But it does appear that reality is persuasive in times like this. It is time to learn a few things from our shared situation and hold accountable those who lie, and for each of us to become awake enough to see through and to act toward the protection of all.

Make, fix, create, and care for each other. We need that.

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