Is is absolutely crazy, yet, everywhere you turn, it will lead one to believe that we live in an entirely disposable world these days. We race to grab the lowest price, the most readily available and/or the replica of the real thing because, hey, it’s close enough. Stores will limit options to maximize earnings. Products are designed to breakdown after a pre-determined length of time in order to activate a re-purchase of it’s next gen version. The economic machine is set into full motion.
I will never forget one particular event for as long as I live. (Basically, because it is seared into the deep recesses of my mental banks). It was back in the early nineties and I was with a group of builders from a community builder group touring one of our subdivisions. It was a casual event as we were looking over each others product and chiming in on what we liked and didn’t like. All of us were friends and so it was a fairly relaxed and easy going atmosphere. Then someone brought up the question of how long do we feel that a home should last? My grandfather was a builder, so, the timeframe that I had in mind was rather lengthy. But, without a second’s hesitation, this guy bellowed out ~ 15 years, tops. I was floored. Mainly because I had admired this guy for being a small business owner cranking out 120 homes a year. Pretty impressive for the size of his operation. Yet, he truly felt that a home should be priced low enough and that it’s lifespan should be short enough that it would warrant knocking it down to build a replacement in a few years and thus keeping the churn in full motion.
Thank goodness, this sentiment is not held by everyone. After last week’s post, I had quite a few people reach out about how they welcomed the concept of sustaining for life. About how they too believe that the condition of an asset, be it an estate, a piece of land, an auto, boat or plane…you name it, can improve and enhance over time. It is cool to see that a lot of folks still appreciate the craft of creating things with a real shelf life. Who respect the process. Who embrace the notion that it takes quality materials to establish enduring elements. And then one who takes the long-view approach toward seeing that it advances.
Seth Godin speaks perfectly to the notion of craft and artistry in a recent podcast. Here, (starting at the 6:05 mark) when discussing, of all things, how to craft the perfect cup of coffee, he emphasizes that “you can spend a lot of time trying to fix stuff later, but, starting with the right materials makes a huge difference, and thus, roasting your own beans is more important than any other thing you can do if you want to make a cup a coffee”. I love it that commitment to art is still alive and well.
Bottom line, we live in a magnificent world, despite all of the collective efforts to derail it. So, it is up to us to make sure that we safeguard it’s beauty. And then, the world will respond in kind.
All my Bests,