The Veteran

The Veteran When I was young and bold and strong, Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong! My plume on high, my flag unfurled, I rode away to right the world. "Come out, you dogs, and fight!" said I, And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad Are woven in a crazy plaid. I sit and say, "The world is so; And he is wise who lets it go. A battle lost, a battle won-- The difference is small, my son."

Inertia rides and riddles me; The which is called Philosophy.


~ Dorothy Parker


There's a book called Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do from the 1970s by Studs Terkel that is a series of interviews with different people about what they do all day and how they feel about it. It is an interesting reference point for how the workplace has changed but how working has not. One of the opening interviews in Studs' book is with steelworker, Mike Lefevre. I have quoted him below.

"If a carpenter built a cabin for poets, I think the least the poets owe the carpenter is just three or four one-liners on the wall. A little plaque: Though we labor with our minds, this place we can relax in was built by someone who can work with his hands. And his work is as noble as ours. I think the poet owes something to the guy who builds the cabin for him."

I am convinced that both our economy and educational system needs to refocus on the artisan. What do you think?