Separating the Makers from the Followers: Transforming the World with the Power of DIY

the earth is alive print by thewheatfield - click image for more info

We are all makers.
Dale Dougherty, Make Magazine

You identify with the idea of being a maker. You feel the divine pull to create. Your desire to make, create, and design often feels at odds with the greater world around you.

Our world doesn’t value making. It values buying.

It even values breaking.

Our culture is one of convenience. Can’t cook? Pick up a meal in 15 minutes. Can’t sew? Buy clothes for $15 dollars. Can’t think? Absorb network news on 15 channels and be told what to think.

Because things are done for you, you have no responsibility to the things you consume. They are literally junk – destined for the trash, sooner than later. Everything we buy is inherently disposable.

The members of a culture based on convenience and disposal become less responsible to each other. The ties between us weaken, break.

We treat people the way we treat our stuff.

DIYers are not afraid to take responsibility for the creation and maintenance of the things they and their families use, eat, wear, play with, learn from, and live. In fact, they welcome the challenge of creating, maintaining, and modifying their physical environment.
– Mark Frauenfelder, Made by Hand

I would venture to say this goes for people, as well.

DIYers are not afraid to take responsibility for the aid & support of their communities, their families, their friends, and those they’ve never met.

Makers ask “Can it be done?” They live for the challenge. They strive to understand problems by attempting to solve them. Even through multiple failures.

Can it be done?

Can we feed the hungry? Can we shelter the poor? Can we support the sick?

Can we create solutions to the genuine problems people face on a daily basis?

We can if we rely on our own actions, our own wisdom, and our own power.

Society isn’t fixing itself. Corporations aren’t stepping up to create products that fix the larger issues.

And now in the 21st century, we’re starting to look at these problems within the context of business.

Can it be done? Can I create a company that turns a profit and shelters the poor at the same time? Can I create a product that pays for itself while feeding the hungry?

The question, “Can it be done?” need not end with an obvious solution. In fact, it’s our duty as Makers to push ourselves beyond the conventional.

Your small business can help solve bigger problems. What you buy can contribute to a larger cause. How we Make can influence how we engage the world.

The motivation is internal. The desire, primal.

As we create new systems, we are reassessing the way we value possessions, experiences, and people. We are relearning what it means to operate in the world. We are, quite literally, Making a difference.

Today, instead of accepting things as they are, consider:

Can it be done?

3 thoughts on “Separating the Makers from the Followers: Transforming the World with the Power of DIY

  1. I love what you are saying here. I wrote yesterday about wondering what is mine to do in the world beyond making art. What I mean by that is what can I do with my art or other skills to make change in the world while making a living? I a as yet unsure but the question for me has become not can it be done, but how will I do it?

    “The motivation is internal. The desire, primal.”

    Oh yes it is!

    Interested in my piece?

    http://www.thephoto-works.com/2011/03/09/the-art-is-in-you/

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