I’m sorry to say that dependency is becoming the American way.
Why spend time and effort fixing something yourself when you can A) Pay an “expert” to do it for you, or B) Trash whatever isn’t working and buy something fresh and new? After all, it’ll leave you more time to do really important stuff. You know, the kind of things you see all those gorgeous people doing on TV and the Web: sky diving, traipsing to exotic vacation locations, working out with their pals, gambling at the casino, and on and on.
After all, they’re worth it.
And so are you.
I get it. I really do. Hard to ignore the 24/7 advertising onslaught. And some people just don’t like to get their hands dirty. Or may shy away from DIY because the repair involves doing something that is perceived as “dangerous.” Better to leave any risk to a well insured “professional.” Or maybe it is a lack of self-confidence. Plenty of advice on Youtube to counteract that, but still, some people fear failure and have been indoctrinated into leaving most things to “experts.”
There could also be more subtle impulses at play. The one I hear most often can be boiled down to the belief that one’s time is so darn valuable why would they want to spend it fixing a dishwasher, or a leaky toilet, or something equally mundane and blue collar when one can hire some lackey to do it for them.
But getting it doesn’t mean I like it. In fact, in society’s mad rush to become more dependent, I’m marching the other way, along with a few other vagabonds. From what I can see, we’re an odd quilt of men and women. We come from a variety of backgrounds and incomes even. We may not get our news from the same networks, but we share a common interest in working with our hands and our minds.
Some of us are DIY by necessity. If I don’t fix it or build it, it won’t happen. We can’t afford to buy a playhouse for their kids; so we build it. Others do it because they have an independent streak. They could pay for someone else to do it, but what’s the fun in that? And if you have kids, why model that kind of behavior?
This particular movement isn’t controlled by any organizations or political party. Anyone can join. . . anytime. No need to start with something big like rebuilding a car engine, or fixing a short in your electrical panel. Start with something else. Instead of ordering out, make dinner from scratch. Next time you have a leaky faucet, fix it yourself. Need to repaint a room. Yeah, you can do that. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, ask around, or spend some time snooping on Youtube.
So, if you’re ready, raise your right hand, and repeat after me:
I <ENTER YOUR NAME> do henceforth commit to a life of increasing independence from our political and corporate overlords and agree to follow the holy precepts of Do-It-Youselfism as handed down by our forefathers and mothers. I commit myself to a future of looking for opportunities for radical fun and learning new skills however innane by doing more things by myself with advice from family, friends and my community of brother and sister do-it-yourselfers. So help me God (or whatever else you might consider holy).
I find uncomfortable. Most of the time I grin and bear it, but sometimes I need to strike out and demonstrate at least a small amount of independence, and if I’m lucky, maybe I can infect someone else with an independent streak that might come in handy down the road. Like my grandson, for instance.
Here’s a photo of he and I underneath my wife’s Subaru