Working With Your Hands

A Dangerous Child must master at least 3 different ways of achieving financial independence by the age of 18 years. Given the number of manual skills Dangerous Children routinely learn as part of the training, at least 1 of the 3 skills of self-sufficiency is likely to involve working with the hands, often more. Besides the looming “skills gap” in the manual trades, there are other reasons why young people might choose to put in time working with their hands.

According to the job hunting site Monster, our brain chemistry actually changes when we work with our hands: “By the simple act of using our hands, be it rewiring a home’s electricity, laying bricks, or simply sweeping, we can forge entire new neuro pathways in our brains that could not be made in a less physically active environment.” __ Health Benefits of Working with Your Hands

Physical activity that involves frequent problem-solving, works the body and the brain — often in ways that relieve stress, rather than creating stress as in many office jobs.

Back in 2009, Matthew Crawford related in the New York Times Magazine how he graduated with a PhD in Political Science from U. Chicago and completed a year of postdoc, then began realising that the future looked very bleak if he did not make a change. Over the next year, Matthew spent more time at a friend’s motorcycle repair shop than he did at the university — and thereby learned a new trade as a motorcycle mechanic.

After the postdoc was completed, he took a job in Washington DC at a think tank. But the work was stressful and unsatisfying, so after just 7 months Matthew quit.

After saving up enough money to buy the necessary tools, he quit his job, opened up his own motorcycle repair shop, and is now the author of several books including Shop Class As Soulcraft and The Case for Working with Your Hands. In the latter, Crawford writes, “Manual competence makes you feel better, and behave better.” ___ https://craftsmanshipinitiative.org/health-benefits-working-hands/

Working with his hands was far less stressful and more satisfying than his think tank job. And as a motorcycle mechanic he also had the mental energy to author a number of books, which added to his income and life experience.

Broadly Based Competence Opens Doors

As populations in Europe and the Anglosphere age, skilled workers are retiring at higher rates than they can be replaced — especially during times of economic prosperity with increased hiring needs.

Skilled craftsmen and tradesmen can easily earn into the six figures — without the gigantic student loans and high levels of stress often incurred in a university education followed by mainstream employment.

Dangerous Children are trained to work with their hands in many ways, but they are also trained in starting/running a business, investing and asset management, and in many basic skills of thinking and scholarship rarely seen today even in college graduates.

A strong society requires strong and broadly competent members, a fact which the elites of academia, media, government, and other cultural institutions have seemingly forgotten.

Even if a Dangerous Child makes a living as a plastic surgeon, theoretical physicist, CEO of his own tech company, or homesteading on the Alaska frontier, being able to work with his hands will serve him well in many unforeseen circumstances, and with a wide range of personal hobbies and avocations.

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