We need skills again for the future

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The future, the post carbon, post oil, future we are facing, and which is not at all far off, will make new and different demands on us than does the present.

We will need skills again for this future, the new era about to be upon us, and those skills are many of the old ones that our parents, grandparents and and their parents were so very familiar with.

Those are the skills of making things for our needs with our own hands, of repairing things without own hands and of growing things, to indicate but a few.

SEWING is one of many of those skills. Sewing means not just a little mending here and there, sewing on a button or such, but the whole hog, from mending clothes to make them last (longer) – very important in the future – to altering clothes to making clothes from scratch. I don't expect, though, that you'll make your own cloth; not necessarily. Sewing also includes making other textile things from old clothes and working leather, though sewing leather is somewhat different from sewing cloth.

The making of clothes is going to be a rather important skill to have, to know and to employ, for not everyone wants to become a nudist, I am sure.

Aside from sewing and the making of clothes and other things created by this skill there are hundreds of skills, literally, that are needed and many of those we'd do very well to acquire to be able to to as many things for ourselves as at all possible.

Most of us in our present state depend on others to make our clothes – I know I do – and also many, if not indeed most, other things. Many cannot even think – and I am arriving at my “favorite” subject once again – of how to reuse something, or rework and upcycle something so that they do not have to go to the shop for it. Even among many in the eco-movement this can be found only too frequently. But I digressed somewhat.

Working with wood in many different ways is another complete set of skills that well be required and in demand in the new era and it should be one that we should have in our armory. The same goes for the ability to be working in metal, especially the smithing, the making of, tools.

In fact, there are so many skills that we, as individuals, and as groups and communities, will need that it would require a book almost to be written in order just to list all or even the majority of them.

Our mindset, however, is our most important asset, skill and tool as that will enable us to think and to acquire skills and ideas. The most important part here will be of being able to get away from the “buy in store” mentality.

The right mindset is the most important asset for the coming new age when we will have to make most things ourselves once again, as once was common for most folks. The ability to buy everything as and when we want and that cheaply is only a very recent phenomenon and once the cost of everything is going up due to resources and especially oil and thus transportation fuel drying up we will have little choice but to change our ways and to apply again the ways of our grandparents and their parents.

Aside from all the practical skills required one of the most important will be the one of seeing the reuse potential and possibilities in what people (now) regard as waste and to turn such things into items for personal use and even for trade, whether against money or on barter.

Growing your own food and preserving your harvest, as well as knowing what is edible in the wild, including weeds, is probably the one skill of the utmost importance. Furthermore the knowledge of healing herbs and other plants for, once we enter this new era drugs of the current kind may also be few and far between if not even history altogether.

Acquire as much knowledge as you can about every possible skill and craft, etc., that you may need and get as many as possible old DIY, homesteading, farming, gardening, etc., book as you can get as quasi manuals.

Being prepared is the only way to weather the storms that are coming...

© 2012