“A couple months ago I was googleing Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and I found his personal website. Its set up for a cause he really believes in. And after I watched his video explaining what he is trying to do it really opened my eyes. The website is: www.mikeroweworks.com. In a nutshell he talks about how American society has been programed to strive for jobs in the white collar realm. And yeah, for a decade or so the people in those jobs were doing great and they had their lives all planned out. But with the state of the economy now, all those families that thought they were set are having to reevaluate. In my opinion this was/is a trend that is very dangerous to our society. This morning in BusinessWeek I read a little article that states, “After decades of outsourcing factory work to low-wage countries, the nation has shed not only millions of low-skill jobs; it no longer can make many of the high-value goods that matter in the 21 century.” We were a country built on innovation. Now, the only laptop designed in the US is an Apple. And thats just designed, not actually made. Every other brand is Asian designed. So if history repeats itself as we know it always does, the countries that are most technologically advanced will be the ruling powers. And thats the extreme consequences of these times, but the smaller things are what I’ve been most interested in.
For example, how many people in my age group (in their twenties) actually know how to do things like hang a picture, plant a garden, sew, make their own food or do minor carpentry? Not many. This is so sad. We have phased out all the necessary building blocks of survival from our schools curriculum. And I’m not saying its up to schools to teach these things. Parents used to teach their children these things, but times have changed. I think this is such a huge concern for me right now because I just graduated with a degree in Business Management and I am having no luck finding a job. But you better believe there are jobs for people who were trained to cook, weld, and plumb. But I grew up in a household that hired people to all those things, why would I need to know how to do them? No one knows what the future holds, and its always better to be prepared right? So I’m thinking any step towards self sufficiency I can take, I will. I wanted to post this because I wanted all of you to think about it. I want to know your thoughts.”
I wrote the above on July 18, 2009 on Facebook. Recently Matt and I watched Examined Life, a great documentary that features modern day philosophers. (you can play it instantly on Netfilx or watch it free online) After watching the film it made me think about the above subject again. I wrote that little passage before I moved to CA. I’m fortunate enough now to live in a place where people think similarly to me. By moving I feel that my goals are getting easier to grasp. I eat majority local and organic, I even bake mostly organic. I’m teaching myself to really knit. I’ve started a couple knitting projects before but never really saw them to the end. This time I am dedicated to learning the craft. I bake my own bread, make my own biscuits and so on. I think that the more I can do myself the healthier my family and I will be.
One of the biggest steps I have taken to grasp the life I want has been quitting my job with a multinational corporation. I loved the people I worked with the whole time I was with the company but I had to look beyond the everyday happenings at my particular location. I noticed how the company would try to market themselves as respectful to the environment, fair to their foreign workers, and open to diversity in the workplace. After being there almost three years I began to see their false pretenses. I am now proud to say I work for a company that is family owned. I actually see the family almost every day. The store is a one of a kind and the people of the town are grateful for its presents.
Simplifying my life is a goal I will continue to strive towards. I hope my little rant will inspire a reader to bake some bread, sew some curtains, plant a seed, or even just talk about the subject to a friend. If all corporations disappeared tomorrow what skills would you be able to offer to your family and neighbors?