I once witnessed one man showing another man how to use a hammer. WHAT? It seems pretty straight forward…hit the nail with the big end. Well, there’s more to the act when you’re familiar with hammering nails. Anyone who has had the opportunity to hammer nails Knows that you hold the handle close to the bottom allowing the weight of the head to provide most of the force. A hammer novice will grip the handle in the middle tightly and try to pound the nail using only their arm strength. It becomes an inefficient and tiring endeavor.
I once camped with some people who had never been outside of their living room after dark. These camping novices taught me how little urban people know about things that seem ordinary and straightforward to country folk. It was great fun to offer them a glimpse of their first shooting star. The downside of their stay was the realization that they knew little about anything beyond their living room. It became clear that their concern about water was over which tap it came from. Never considering how much was available or how it got to the tap. Our electric power was gained from generators which run on gasoline…another exhaustible resource. Apparently the just “flipping of a switch” in their homes had never required knowing any more than that. My point is that we all take ordinary things for granted especially when they look easy and self-explanatory. When we don’t ever experience an environment where conservation equals success and survival, we are unprepared. Country people have these skills. They keep refrigerators closed tightly when there’s a loss of power. They take shorter, and if need be, fewer showers during the driest seasons. They understand many basic, simple, rules for survival that city people have rarely had to consider.
I am so happy to have the opportunity to pass on these skills to my grandchildren. Their lives may one day depend upon them. The very least they will gain is a respect and realization that our resources have limits.