I am an avid watcher of the “CREATE” channel by PBS. The station plays shows containing information on tons of ways to create things with your hands. From food to painting, you can watch shows on “how to” do pretty much anything artistic.
Yesterday, I was watching a sewing show. The ladies on the show were all in their sixties or older. I began to think about it. What is going to happen to our society when these ladies are gone? How many young people actually take an interest in something which takes longer than 10 minutes to complete? Will people have to purchase a new “this” or “that” every 6 weeks because of the ill prepared content and construction? It concerns me for my child.
“What? Concerns you for your child?” you may ask. Yes! Our society has become so consumed with quick and easy. We run to the cupboard for a meal in a box. We run to the store for a pretty dress or quilt. We type a fast note to a friend instead of sitting down to write a letter. We go go go to fill in the spaces of our lives. I am just as guilty. Quick has replaced quality in our culture.
I watched the older lady carefully hand sew on a piece of fabric. You could tell she had made these stiches thousands of times in her life. Though she was obviously skilled, it was her manner which was impressive. She was steady. There was no rushing in her hands. She carefully moved. She studied each placement of the needle. She was in the moment. She was not concerned with how quickly she needed to complete the project. Her concern was how well she accomplished the task at hand.
I suppose what concerns me is that my child will grow up in a world that is lived out through a screen. It frightens me that he may grow up in a culture where it’s not about the care and consideration put into your work, but how quickly it can be accomplished. When the older craftsmen and women are gone, will the art die with them? Will it become more rare than gold? (If you look at the price tag of handmade items today, you would think we are already at this place.) Or, will our society become so engulfed with the virus of expediency that quality will no longer matter?
Of course, the irony of the entire thought is played out in my posting of this idea. Please be aware that I understand the importance of technology. As a matter of fact, I love technology. Trust me, every time I need a shower or I need to cook, I thank God for giving people visions and abilities. For myself, though, I am going to strive to slow down and try to absorb the creating of the art as much as the outcome. Maybe, if I can learn better to be in the moment of the creation, my son will notice. Hopefully, he will learn to take this skill into whatever career he chooses. So, whether he becomes a trash collector or doctor, he will know it is not about what you can get out of your work, but what you put into it that matters.