Make something. It doesn’t make much difference what it is. What’s most important is the process of creating something from scratch, something that didn’t exist in the world until you made it. There is a lot of joy in making things. Sure, it’s enormously satisfying to see other people take delight in what you have done. But making things has the added benefits of being good for your mind, body, and soul. In the long run, it may even be good for the planet.
In The Joy of Making Things, Matthew Banks says:
For a few decades, a lot of people just gave up on making things. People were satisfied with whatever mass-manufacturing could produce. People stopped working on their cars, stopped making toys for their children, and started replacing things instead of repairing them. But there’s something very satisfying about making and fixing things. And the more we make and the more we fix, the less wasteful our society will be.
The virtue of learning new things, being able to make things ourselves and repair and customize the things we buy, is something we really need to hold on to. This is a mass-produced, disposable age, and we’re going to have to work even harder to maintain our independence. But it’ll be worth it. If we keep consuming and wasting and sacrificing craft and independence for convenience, we’re really going to regret it.
I spend a lot of time at my desk running a company. Although I find that rewarding (I created the company), I am definitely most happy when I’m working with my hands at home in the shop or out on the property planting trees, shoring up a retaining wall, or working at some other project that has me digging in the dirt. Same goes for my wife Kim who, among other things, is an extraordinary quilter and excellent musician. She is most happy when elbow deep in fabric or making music with her family. So this week’s Table Talk quote by Ricky Gervais has special meaning for us. We hope that it serves as a reminder to you that it’s the perfect season to make the most of the daylight and get your hands dirty. Take on that DIY project. Get out there and build a sandcastle, plant a tree, tend to your garden, construct a tree fort… anything.