The value of working with your hands

(external link) Stephen Colbert interviews Matthew Crawford. Crawford, a philosopher and a mechanic, holds a PHD in political philosophy and recently wrote a book titled Shop class as soulcraft.

Colbert video

Along similar lines, I shared an article with my wife earlier in the week titled The Manly Art of Knitting. From that post:

    My wife, LeAnna and I have been thinking a lot lately about work. We’ve been wondering if perhaps we’ve been mis-educated to believe that avoidance of manual labor is the pinnacle of education and evolution — that to prove that we’ve arrived in the world, we should work with our heads and not our hands. What we’re wondering is whether that system has steered us wrong, disconnecting us not even so much from our heritage, but from some essential part of who we are as people. That as people, we were made to create. That on some level people were meant to work for their food. And that, similarly, part of our care not just for ourselves but for each other involves a physical act of creating.

Of course we were made to create! “In the beginning, God created . . . so God created man in His own image . . . “


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

3 Responses to The value of working with your hands

  1. I don’t very often catch the Report, but I really enjoyed this interview and would love to see something more in depth with this author. I’m eager to check out his book as well. I couldn’t agree more with him!

  2. marysienka says:

    Me too! I’m searching for a discounted copy soon as I can.
    I’m a tailor, and I love working with my hands. I feel much more involved with what I do, compared to office work I’ve done, and I feel closer ties to my livelihood this way. My spare hours are spent reading and drinking beer with friends, and I have never before felt such a perfect balance in my life.
    Hooray for crafty people!

  3. Pingback: Intentional Observation: Mennonites in flip-flops « The Aesthetic Elevator

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