In ecology there are species known as “keystone species.” They are animals that have an impact on the ecosystem that is disproportionate to their population. I’m starting to think that working with our hands is a keystone skill. It has a disproportionate impact on our inventory of skills. When fixing something, we are forced to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills. To focus on both the general, and how the particular interacts with the general. This is to say nothing of honing skills of observation, organization, imagination, and increasing curiosity. Those skills improve and get applied to other areas of our lives that have nothing to do with building or making.
In his book “Shop Class as Soulcraft” Matthew Crawford examines the notion that when things we posses are mysterious to us, their internal operations opaque, we put them in a position to exert mastery over us. I can’t help but think Motomethod and other “maker shops” like this are tapping into a primal urge to take back some control over our lives. It seems to me that the real benefit of this urge is how our lives are enriched through the improvement of our skills.Related: Popular: