By Trace Embry
Is America losing sight of the vocational trades that made her great?
Is today’s culture too dependent upon technology? Could we have a potential problem on our hands? What would happen if technology fails us or the power goes out? Will our kids know how to do some of the basic things necessary for sustaining life that so many of the trades have to offer?
A Generation Loosing its Know-How
When I was young, if my bike broke I could and would repair it. Generally speaking, that was America’s mentality back then. We wouldn’t discard an item; instead, we would learn to fix it. If we couldn’t fix it, then dad usually could. If dad couldn’t fix it, we knew a neighbor who could.
In today’s culture the tide has shifted. If something breaks, the mindset is to buy a new one—whatever that something might be.
For example: How many in the age 30 and under crowd, today, know how to do basic repairs around the house?
Taking it One Step Further
Studies show that there is already a great need for these trades in America: welders, carpenters, roofers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, machinists, etc.
As America continues to become more reliant on technology, we are loosing not only our ability to fix and build things, but the inclination of how to fix and build things.
How Christian Boarding Schools and Churches can Help
When kids arrive at Shepherds Hill Academy I’m shocked at how many of them can’t swing a hammer properly or operate a basic hand saw.
Today’s Christian boarding schools are naturally more focused on behavior, character and spirituality rather than on vocation—as they should be.
But it is also true that Christian boarding schools have the infrastructure already in place to help today’s youth develop the knowledge of a trade if they chose to do so. This could be a tremendous asset for kids who have no inclination to go to college, yet, still have good minds.
This could actually be a ministry in and of itself. When kids work with their hands, and see the productive fruits of their labor, they tend to acquire a more positive attitude toward productivity and creativity that will take them in a more positive direction in life—a direction that takes them beyond the mere pushing of buttons.
Pushing buttons isn’t much of an accomplishment in the eyes of most people—including our kids. Mankind was made to accomplish things.
And as we accomplish things, our self confidence and sense of self worth increases. When we are dependent upon digital technology to solve all our problems, it diminishes our opportunities to experience accomplishment.
Do you know a teenager who is interested in a trade? If so, please tell us which trade.