The Case for Working With Your Hands

By deciding to buy a sewing machine, I have made a conscious effort to learn to work with my hands. Not that I actually need one, but Matthew B. Crawford in his article on the New York Times provided justification for that. He wrote:

A good job requires a field of action where you can put your best capacities to work and see an effect in the world. Academic credentials do not guarantee this.

Nor can big business or big government — those idols of the right and the left — reliably secure such work for us. Everyone is rightly concerned about economic growth on the one hand or unemployment and wages on the other, but the character of work doesn’t figure much in political debate. Labor unions address important concerns like workplace safety and family leave, and management looks for greater efficiency, but on the nature of the job itself, the dominant political and economic paradigms are mute. Yet work forms us, and deforms us, with broad public consequences.

Read the whole article here.

In Nigeria, there is such a drive for education – not because of the wonders of being educated or the 1185527_traditional_lithuanian_folk_handicraftexposure it affords but for the job such a qualification can bring. Education for the sake of education? Really! But with the financial meltdown and so many people losing their jobs, do those qualifications stand us in good stead? We have so many wonderful traditional hand crafts that are dying or dead…crafts passed down from generation to generation-until they gof to my own generation then book interest took over. I am not speaking against book interest, I’m only wondering what alternative we have when that qualification fails to earn us the life we desire. Do we just go for more qualifications? A Masters Degree? A PhD? What do those letters after your name signify?

I am determined that if ever a day comes when my Law degree is no good, I’ll be able to sew my way to an income. At least, I learned in Primary Social Studies that three things will ALWAYS be in demand: Food; Clothing; Shelter.


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