Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Master Craftsman believes in ideas and they translate those ideas into practical and functional works of art that we see and use around our homes. Sometimes those ideas are unconventional. They may garner strange looks and critical comments, but these are men and women of vision who see the world differently and make things better than what they originally were. Rising above the criticisms is part of what they do. It’s in their DNA, as is finding solutions to problems and seeing treasure while others see trash. It’s a difference in perspective and the vision they have isn’t limited to a hammer and nails or a slide rule and circular saw. My version of a Master Craftsman transforms those ideas into ideals – values they carry and pursue throughout all aspects of their life. In particular, those that call upon green hearts and green thumbs.
The Green Uprising: Ideas in Action
There’s a well-known set of ideas out there called the Green Movement or as I like to call it, The Green Uprising (which has far more of a Michael Bay-ish, kick ass sort of tone). Basically, it’s the push to do more using fewer resources and doing what we can to take care of the place where we live, which may be your hometown, home state, home country or home planet. Some call it a fad or a trend but I’d like to think it’s more of a paradigm shift. A step back to older ideals where so many of the day-to-day tasks that are now cheap, fast, and unhealthy revert back to a purer form. This purer form is part of what a Master Craftsman strives for. When there was a bit more time and sweat involved in using your own hands to get certain things done. Now I don’t mean this about everything we do in life. You don’t want to be bustin’ your brain when you’re doing the family finances or waving a hand fan all day while your face melts in the sweltering heat. There’s a level of practicality and convenience that today’s technology brings that we shouldn’t dismiss. And of course being the self-professed tech geek that I am, I’m always wanting to incorporate technology in my life when it can automate tasks and streamline my daily routine. But there’s a careful balance that needs to take place, a tightrope we all must walk. If you immerse yourself in too much technology and get lost in the fast food mindset out there then you begin to lose a part of your self, your connectedness with others and the world around you. And eventually become incapable of seeing things for what they really are. The Green Uprising is a set of ideas that can help pull you back together and give you a new, more meaningful perspective on life.
Joining the Uprising
Some folks are inspired to join the Green Uprising because of an external impulse – maybe a visit by a holy spirit while you’re holding open the refrigerator door in your skivvies or a brainwashing by some pony-tailed hippie who shouts things like, “Go green or go home!” It might also come from words in a book, lyrics in a song, or dialogue in a movie. It could even arise from a heart-to-heart chat with a close friend or an enlightening conversation with a complete stranger. Bottom line is something outside of yourself causes a light bulb to go off. An ideological spark zaps your brain and like a clump of mashed gum under a desk it sticks in your head and stays there. It’s the thought you never knew and the idea you never dreamed. A minute ago you didn’t even know you were missing anything, but now something is there and there’s no escaping it.
There are other folks out there who get the green jolt another way. It stems from the unsettled feeling you’ve been having about life and everything that’s going on around you that seems out of your control. You feel like you should have had a V-8…every day. Something is just missing and you can sense it. Like sampling some food you prepared and not being able to put your finger on why it doesn’t taste as good as it should. So to cope you start doing some self-reflection. You start asking why and what if, and over time doors begin to open and new ideas emerge – fresh ideas with grand possibilities. Everything begins to taste better because suddenly you understand what you can do for yourself, your family and the world around you.
And no matter if your inspiration comes from outside, within or both, when you think back you find it difficult to imagine there was ever any other way of living.
And to think it all began with a set of ideas.
Ideas that became ideals.
Ideals that shaped the spirit of a Craftsman.
A Craftsman who transforms those ideals into all new ideas.
And so perpetuates the cycle.
Featured photo credit: tj.blackwell