ALIGN | Issue No. 22


Greetings,

Between pandemic authoritarianism and the Afghanistan disaster, confidence in our sanctimonious ruling class has collapsed. Impressive credentials and sympathetic press coverage can’t save you now.

When there are few public figures to look up to, we should look to ourselves and each other. It’s a good time to assess our own competencies. Even as fraudulent leaders are exposed, can we build and fix things, and take pride knowing our own houses are in order? Are we the effective, productive people we want to be? What skills and knowledge do we aspire to learn and share with others, and even pass along to future generations?

They say if you want something done well, do it yourself. Many of us are handy to an extent— some readers may even be experts in building and fixing. We see learning and doing as a form of self-improvement: here are a few ways to apply that to our lives.

The Better Alternative

It’s a sad time in our country when an organization that used to be so wholesome — the Boy Scouts of America — becomes subverted by politics and scandal.

Founded to teach young men the fundamentals of “responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance,” the Boy Scouts of America has been a staple of family life for over a century. Though some in the organization may have lost focus on this mission, this mindset and these values are an essential part of growing up.

As more parents try homeschooling, pods, and other DIY school innovations, surely there are ways to re-create the activities and organizations we used to be able to count on for kids to learn, grow, and be active. One reader recommended Outdoor Boys YouTube channel as a source for activities, and The Dangerous Book for Boys. We are actively collecting ideas like these. Please send us your own suggestions for “do-it-yourself” versions of the Boy Scouts and we will highlight them in a future newsletter.

The "Outdoor Boys" on another adventure.

Source: Outdoor Boys Facebook

Business Spotlight

Are you starting a project or looking to supply your toolkit? Wilde Tool manufactures tools of all kinds in the United States, from their facility in Northeast Kansas. This family-owned business proudly tells the story of their founding as a few men who turned their idea into an invention, and turned an invention into a century-old, family-owned company. 

This is the type of ingenuity and can-do attitude that Americans are known for. We are proud to support and recommend companies that exemplify the best of what the people of our country can do, especially in a time where it’s represented so poorly by our leaders.

Source: Wilde Tool Facebook

The Bigger Picture

Our country’s shortage of skilled tradesmen is creating long delays for people repairing, remodeling, or constructing new homes. At the same time, it presents an opportunity to build a lucrative career in professions that are nearly impossible to automate or outsource.

We should encourage Americans’ interest and talent in building and creating, especially young in life. There will always be demand for plumbers, electricians, and carpenters.

What is to be done? 

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs is quite a civic-minded innovator, working to bring Americans into the skilled trades since 2008. The Mike Rowe Works Foundation provides “work ethic scholarships,” aiming not only to incentivize young people to learn skilled trades, but to restore national appreciation  for these essential career fields.

Mike says:

“Our crumbling infrastructure, our widening skills gap, the disappearance of vocational education, and the stratospheric rise in college tuition—these are not problems. These are symptoms of what we value. And right now, we have to reconnect the average American with the value of a skilled workforce. Only then, will the next generation aspire to do the work at hand.”

More To Explore

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Greetings, Thank God for our veterans. We can all agree on that. They were told to go near and far from home and they did,

ALIGN | Issue No. 29

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