When looking at the frontier people, the term “rugged” comes to mind. It may apply to their circumstances, but also consider that they had to utilize the elements themselves. There was no certified home builder, no electrician, no mass produced transportation vehicles. Decision to go from point A to point B required planning and calculating resources in a manner much more involved than miles per gallon. One’s shelter was not state approved and only there when the person put it there – same with the food on the table. Therefore, the frontier individuals were utilizing their skills in a much fuller fashion than I observe now. I would wonder if they also had a larger skill-set than the population right now, as they had to operate on more levels of proficiency.
In the United States, we like to call ourselves a first world country. Items presented as proof are the infrastructure, economy, housing, and markets. As to the latter item, I was in a bigbox store and found an interesting item yesterday. It was a child’s tee shirt proclaiming “whatever happened, it wasn’t me.” I know a pair of brothers it would fit perfectly and took a picture and sent it to a family member. We enjoyed the chuckle and commented back a forth a little bit. Anyways, if one steps back a little and examines this exchange and applies it to the culture, a different picture may emerge. I work with a lady who is an ace at finding deals in stores and utilizing their discounts and coupons for unbelievably cheap jeans, tops, etc. As an office, most occupants have the lunch conversation as “where are you going to go?” Then they choose a particular restaurant. How many people out there in this “first world” country decide to build a chair? How many think it’s such a good idea and design that they will spend the next week or so making something useful rather than look for a “deal?” How many of our population have any clue about the fundamentals of what produces the prepared meals sitting on the shelves in the store? In the freezer aisle, I noted boxes of scrambled eggs with bacon, or hash brown, or something similar which are ready to place in the microwave. Is it that laborious to scramble an egg? Does the microwave time increase of 2 minutes provide that much better a product than could be produced with a little effort at the stove? What I am suggesting is that this country is being remade into a simpler type of society. For all the research and technological advances about which we can boast, there is the lack of personal creativity and initiative and maybe now – ability to make those things we desire in life. The result is a people who hunt and gather. The forest has given way to the supermarket and the rifle has been passed for the coupon.