24th February 2022

I greatly miss the use of descriptive terms to describe an individual’s abilities. Was a time a degree of pride came from being classified. Doth seem now that being nondescript has more merit that being characterized.

Perhaps ‘tis related to the labor required to earn a recognized title, work often badly paid and poorly appreciated. I recall the years and years of earning a pittance it took a young person to complete an apprenticeship, in the case of very well paid and overfilled trades up to a ten-year journey. I do comprehend that in the States guilds are tarred with the same toxic brush as trade unions, for historic political and criminal reasons. An unfortunate circumstance, when the alternative trade schools are designed and inclined to turn our mediocre volume rather than exceptional individuals.

Being proclaimed a specialist is a high honor and ensures a steady demand for service and an adequate volume of ready work. A tradesperson, the plumber, electrician, builder, mason, is always needed, the hands-on knowledge gained in the years of training ensuring a quality of labor second to none. A jack of all trades is a needed vocation, able to handle less technical matters, not requiring deep background knowledge and support. Even the poorly laborer has their place in the hierarchy, doing the necessary lifting and carrying that requires but a strong back and deft hands and the ability to work happily under the supervision of another. All these are manual occupations, needing practice, aptitude, no fear of getting dirty or suffering the terrible effects of weariness and perspiration, both anathema to the modern techno generation.

My perspective in these arenas is no doubt considered old fashioned, being based largely upon my respect for the work ethic of the professionals, and their acceptance that good pay and societal position arise from a well-founded training and an earnest desire to master basic and advanced skills.

Small beginnings, with consistent accrual of aptitude and knowledge are the foundations of a successful lifelong career. Surgeons, dentists, doctors, artists are all artisans, singular components of a successful complex.

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