People used to sit on the porch or in the parlor and play musical instruments.
Today we just hit the “play” button on Apple Music or Spotify and listen to anything we want.
People used to grow seasonally-appropriate fruits and vegetables in window boxes and backyard gardens.
Today we pick any fruits or vegetables we want from the displays at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or our local grocery stores.
People used to change the oil and fix their own cars in their driveways.
Today we drop our cars off with professional mechanics who do a computer analysis before unclipping the failing parts and plugging in the new parts.
Or we simply dispense with our own cars all together and turn to our phones to hail rides with apps such as Uber and Lyft.
As computerization takes over more and more of our lives, old school analog knowledge and skills are giving way to up-to-the-minute, instantaneous digital solutions.
Globalization means seasonal fruits are available year-round. Because when peaches aren’t ripening in Georgia, they’re filling the trees in Chile or China. And they’re available by the bushel, with nary a bruise, bump or bug between them.
Computerized engine management means cars don’t break down any longer. Besides that, since the average lease only lasts three years or 36,000 miles, what’s the chance you’re going to be driving an older car anyway?
And you’ll never ever find a missed note or a forgotten lyric on a professionally produced and recorded song.
All of these newer solutions tend to be faster, cheaper, more convenient, more precise, and certainly more ubiquitous.
When was the last time you Cotton-picked a guitar, gapped a sparkplug or root-pruned a basil plant?
For that matter, when was the last time you spread gesso on a canvas, reefed your mainsail, waxed your board, prepared a chiffonade of basil, roll cast a hand-tied fly or learned to ride fakie?
It’s my sincere belief that in a time when more and more of our time and attention is being consumed by arm’s length digital activities that we watch or listen to while plopped on an overstuffed couch, making one simple change can bring us more enjoyment, satisfaction, and accomplishment.
Just turn off the device and pick up the thing.