Skilled workers of every age have prized their tools. I recently visited a Museum of Natural History and was amazed at the craftsmanship and precision of the sextants and chronometers that allowed explorers to map our world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Such tools must have cost many years' wages for the average person! I was reminded of how my Grandfather prized and cared for the tools he used on his farm. I vividly remember his showing me how to work a haybaler or oil the harness for his team of horses, tools from an age that is long-gone. But it brings up the question: What are the tools for our age, and what are the skills we will need to keep them "sharp" and useful? I suggest the following tools for your 21st Century Toolbox:
1. Extreme Self-Care: Just like early explorers took extraordinary measures to protect their compass and sextant, keeping them in beautifully finished wooden boxes, so in tomorrow's world we will need to be well-oiled, rested, polished and precisely balanced.
2. Response-Ability: In an earlier generation, a farmer could experiment with new crops or buy a "new-fangled" tractor over a period of several years. In the 21st Century, change will occur daily, and the ability to respond instantly will be the difference between success and total "crop failure."
3. Resource Management: In the 1930's the American Dust-bowl disaster was caused by a belief that the land was endless and resources were boundless, so farmers destroyed the sod, laid bare the land, and the wind simply blew it away. In the next century, the most successful will be those who manage their resources and have the most efficient reserves of creativity, time, space and energy.
4. Character: My great-uncle was known for the beautiful walking sticks he made by hand, carving them during the long winter months. Each one was unique and they have become family heirlooms. In the 21st century we won't leave our mark on wood or stone nearly as often as we will leave our mark on the memories of those who buy our products and services. But I expect the quality of our character will show through just as clearly as the marks he carved into those sticks testify to his patience, strength and dignity.
5. Fence Mending: Robert Frost wrote a poem about "mending wall", and said, "good fences make good neighbors". For a thousand generations, that meant piling rock upon rock, or stretching wire from post to post. In the 21st century, the principle remains the same. Boundaries, roles and responsibilities must be agreed upon, be clearly marked and be maintained.
6. Simplicity: I once heard that until the end of World War II, it was rare for any human being to eat anything that was not raised and harvested within 25 miles of them. Ask anyone who lived through the Depression if they remember the miracle of an orange, brought by special shipment all the way from Florida, as a Christmas treat. It happened once a year! In the 21st Century, those who achieve extraordinary success will be those who, in the midst of clutter and chaos, choose to simplify their lives, focus on their priorities, and pursue their goals.
7. Insatiable Curiosity: Something drove explorers to risk falling off the edge of a "flat earth". The "Mountain Men" (and women) explored the American frontier, and every child asks, "Where do babies come from?" or the eternal, basic question, "Why?" Curiosity will remain an essential tool for the new age. It will drive some to look, listen, experiment and learn new skills, while others will quickly be left behind.
8. Risk Management: This is a 20th century term for an ancient principle: Those who are too timid, get left behind, while those who are too impulsive, usually die young. In the 21st century, we will rarely face risks that are life-threatening, but those with the ability to accurately assess the risks and potential rewards in a new situation will flourish, while those who blindly resist change or blindly run after every new fad will quickly fail.
9. Contextual Creativity: My grandfather had no use for "modern art". He scoffed at the luxury of throwing paint at a canvas or using "gutter language" in poetry. For him creativity was grafting a branch from a pear tree onto an apple tree, and art meant growing more wheat per acre than any other farmer in the county. In the 21st Century, the most valued creators will remain those who can work with what lies at hand, and fashion something new and useful from what others have discarded as old, familiar and useless.
10. Lofty Aspirations: In every age, ambition counts for something. During the Depression, there was no more devastating allegation than that someone was "lazy." I remember my Grandmother scoffing that a neighbor "will never amount to nothing, he doesn't expect to!" Perhaps, in the new century, the most important of all tools will be the expectation that we can succeed, that we can contribute, that we can make a difference. Past generations expected life to be difficult, but they also expected to endure and overcome, and that expectation was tangible, it was as real as spring after the winter, and it kept them going. Aspiration is a powerful tool!
Whatever items you choose for your personal toolbox, choose wisely! To make a living and provide value to those around us, requires the ability to start with a vision, blend it with skill, and produce a result that has value in the real world. Almost always, whether it's the artist's paintbrush or the surgeon's scalpel, that means using tools. Please consider these ten for your toolbox!
As bishops and cardinals gather in Rome, one man tells of his years-long attempt to see his alleged abuser put on trial
In early February, Arturo Borrelli handcuffed himself to a pole in front of the Vatican in a desperate plea to the Catholic church to take his allegations of sexual abuse by a priest seriously.
Ten years have passed since Borrelli, 43, opened up about the systematic assaults, including rape, that he says he endured as a child from his religion teacher, who was also a priest at a parish in the Naples district of Ponticelli.
Special forces said to be preparing to storm Baghuz to flush out last Islamic State diehards
They left Baghuz in a convoy of trucks, slowly snaking across the desert as thin trails of black smoke from mortar strikes drifted into the sky behind them.
The Islamic State fighters dangled their legs off the backs of vehicles normally used for transporting sheep. Brightly coloured keffiyehs wrapped around their faces, they stared at Kurdish troops as they passed without saying a word.
Swede, 16, says EU cannot just ‚Äėwait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge‚Äô
The EU should double its climate change reduction targets to do its fair share in keeping the planet below a dangerous level of global warming, the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has told political and business leaders in Brussels.
Flanked by students from the Belgian and German school strike movements, the Swedish teenager said it was not enough to hope that young people were going to save the world.
Empire actor hands himself in after being charged with lying to police when he said he was victim of racist attack in Chicago
The actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after he was charged with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police have said.
Smollett, 36, an openly gay actor who stars in the TV drama Empire, ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on 29 January that two apparent supporters of Donald Trump had struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.
Police warn death toll may rise in ‚Äėhighly combustable‚Äô blaze in old part of Bangladesh capital
At least 80 people have died after a massive fire engulfed apartment buildings that also housed chemical warehouses in the old city of Bangladesh‚Äôs capital Dhaka.
Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly-combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames. About 50 people were injured, some critically burned.
Meanwhile, Michel Barnier has told a French newspaper that Brexit talks remain at an ‚Äėimpasse‚Äô, and repeated that Brussels will not consider reopening the Withdrawal Agreement or renegotiating the backstop.
‚ÄúThe process is in an impasse at the moment. We are waiting for Theresa May to tell us how she sees things and what she wants,‚ÄĚ he tells La Croix.
A bit more from Corbyn:
‚ÄúThe threat of no deal is something that has deeply exercised people throughout the European Union. They are very worried about the consequences of it.
French president says his party will introduce legislation to combat hate speech online
Antisemitism appears to have reached its worst levels since the second world war, Emmanuel Macron told Jewish community leaders on Wednesday, a day after thousands of people took to the streets in France to denounce hate crimes.
The French government is to adopt the intergovernmental organisation International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‚Äôs (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and propose a law to stop hate speech being circulated online, the French president said.
Canada‚Äôs PM losing support after claim he pressed minister not to prosecute firm
When Justin Trudeau embraced Canada‚Äôs attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, last year in the country‚Äôs House of Commons, it became a moment emblematic of the powerful friendship between the two, part of the government‚Äôs promise to mend the broken relationship between the government and indigenous peoples in Canada.
Now, Wilson-Raybould is out of her job and Trudeau has found himself on the defensive, fending off accusations that members of the Prime Minister‚Äôs Office (PMO) ‚Äď a powerful body staffed with hand-picked confidants ‚Äď put pressure on Wilson-Raybould to not pursue criminal charges against a large Canadian engineering firm. The scandal has cast a shadow over Trudeau‚Äôs domestic image of commitment to transparent government, potentially harming his electoral prospects.
You see these gravity-defying quiffs everywhere in Iraq‚Äôs capital: on reception staff in the secure hotels, on waiters in cafes and on the youths who gather in Zawra amusement park on Friday afternoons. Often teamed with drainpipe trousers and a fitted jacket, the flashy, ostentatious haircut requires care. It says something of the city‚Äôs new confidence: a rejection of the long years of sanctions and war
The recent court decision against the neighbours of Tate Modern in London belies a much wider problem ‚Äď everyone is constantly being watched
Alexander McFadyen says that he and his family were ‚Äúmore or less constantly watched‚ÄĚ while they were at home. They had to be ‚Äúproperly dressed‚ÄĚ at all times, and even then they were often photographed or filmed, and sometimes spied on with binoculars. McFadyen set out to measure the problem. While working at the dining table, he counted 84 people taking photographs in 90 minutes. This is the reality of living in a glass-walled flat in Block C of Neo Bankside, just 34 metres from the viewing gallery at Tate Modern, which receives up to 600,000 visitors a year.
A neighbour, Claire Fearn, said being watched like that made her ‚Äúsick to her stomach‚ÄĚ. People waved and made obscene gestures at her and her family. Her husband, Giles Fearn, found pictures of their home posted online by strangers. Many of the images are still on Twitter, often with amused remarks about the misfortune of their wealthy owners. (The flats are worth an average of ¬£4.35m each.) Another neighbour, Lindsay Urquhart, visited the viewing gallery and heard someone remark that she and the other residents of Block C deserved to lose their privacy because they were ‚Äúrich bastards‚ÄĚ.
The next 15 megacities #15: The fast-growing South Korean capital is about to wipe out Euljiro, a neighbourhood home to 10,000 shops and 50,000 tradespeople that was integral to the country‚Äôs postwar boom
From the main street, the Euljiro neighbourhood doesn‚Äôt look like much: some shabby retail stores, cold-noodle restaurants, a Starbucks.
Enter one of the small alleys, however, and you‚Äôll find yourself in a kind of manufacturing anthill: thousands upon thousands of shops, each crammed to the rafters with bolts, circuit boards, iron castings, gauges, wires, lights, switches, tools and innumerable tiny objects that defy description.
Hans Leo Maes captures the bridges and stairways that link up the hilly, population-dense city
Hong Kong is known for its flashing lights, neon signs and high-rise skylines. But the architect and photographer Hans Leo Maes documents an alternative side ‚Äď the city‚Äôs interconnecting staircases and bridges.
‚ÄúThe extreme population density in Hong Kong means [structures] are stacked and linked by stairs, often external and very visible,‚ÄĚ Maes says.
The obsession with fasting overlaps with a trend for what is often termed ‚Äėbiohacking‚Äô ‚Äď the idea that your body is a system that can be quantified and optimized
Eating is so last season; these days all the cool kids fast. Fasting diets have rocketed in popularity over the last few years, garnering a number of high-profile fans. Like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, for example, who tweeted last month that he‚Äôd ‚Äúbeen playing with fasting for some time.‚ÄĚ Dorsey explained that he does ‚Äúa 22 hour fast daily (dinner only), and recently did a 3 day water fast.‚ÄĚ The billionaire added that the biggest thing he had noticed after depriving himself of food was ‚Äúhow much time slows down. The day feels so much longer when not broken up by breakfast/lunch/dinner. Any one (sic) else have this experience?‚ÄĚ
I have! I‚Äôve had lots of experience with the various side effects of fasting because I did it a ton as a teenager: it was called ‚Äúanorexia.‚ÄĚ And it wasn‚Äôt fun. It wrecked my health and took me years to recover.
The smash hit Nordic noir tackles the far right, economic anxiety and environmental doom in its second season ... and woolly-jumper porn too
When Trapped first brought ice, intrigue and one of Iceland‚Äôs leading heartthrobs to our screens three years ago, it was hailed as the sleeper hit of the winter. But, as it returned last Saturday to BBC Four, audiences were no longer asleep; in the intervening years the series has been watched by 10 million people in the UK, Germany, France and, of course, Scandinavia ‚Äď and with good reason.
If you‚Äôre yet to discover it, don‚Äôt hang about. The series centres on police chief Andri, played by aforementioned dreamboat √ďlafur Darri √ďlafsson and his colleagues on the force ‚Äď sometimes farcical, sometimes touchingly familial ‚Äď as they investigate some very murky goings-on. In the last series it was murders, corruption, arson and human trafficking that plagued the tiny northern town, Sey√įisfj√∂r√įur, that Andri calls home. Series two sees our beloved grizzly man take on another set of deeply dark happenings that torment Sey√įisfj√∂r√įur and its residents, his family included.
Chiwetel Ejiofor directs and stars in the inspiring real-life story of a teenager who brings electricity to his village in Malawi
Chiwetel Ejiofor has made his debut as writer-director, and the result is exhilarating and rather inspiring ‚Äď a story of success against the odds, of ingenuity and resourcefulness, of a father and son painfully coming to terms with each other. Ejiofor brings a real sensitivity and empathy to this material, as well as some bold, fluent storytelling.
He has adapted a 2013 memoir by the Malawi engineer William Kamkwamba, which told the remarkable story of how as a teenager he provided electricity for his village by designing and building a wind turbine, hooked up to a simple bike-type dynamo. Ejiofor has exercised a little creative licence here and upped the narrative stakes, by making this turbine vital for pumping otherwise inaccessible well water for the drought-stricken village‚Äôs crops, and in doing so battling against his father‚Äôs angry realisation that his kid has done what he could not. But Ejiofor‚Äôs creative interventions are entirely justified. They speak to the larger ideas ‚Äď the pain and confrontation involved in trying something radically new.
Folding tablet hybrid shows Asia, not US or Europe, is leading the way in innovation
Samsung has placed its stake in the ground with its Galaxy Fold smartphone-tablet folding phone that is spectacular in every way, even in price, and pitches itself years ahead of its arch-rival, Apple.
Nearly a decade in the making, everything about the Galaxy Fold shouts next generation. It has a standard 4.6in phone screen on the front, but open it up like a book and you reveal a single large 7.3in screen that literally folds in half. No lines, no wrinkles, no visible crinkles. It‚Äôs a level of luxury and innovation not seen before, and it comes with a truly eye-watering price tag of $2,000. But no one said breaking boundaries was cheap.
Darwin Zerpa is among those who have fled to Peru to get the antiretrovirals he needs. Now he counsels others with the virus
By day it is one of Lima‚Äôs grandest squares. By night the Plaza San Mart√≠n becomes a magnet for nightclubbers and bag-snatchers, as well as a haunt for male sex workers and their clients.
It is here just before midnight that 29-year-old Darwin Zerpa and other volunteers set up shop. Pulling up in an out-of-service ambulance and folding out a table on the pavement, they mark out a spot where passersby can get HIV finger-prick test results in less than 10 minutes.
Campaigners say resurgence of deadly virus threatens despite huge successes of vaccination drive
The unmonitored movement of people across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan threatens efforts to eradicate polio from the two countries, as the year‚Äôsfirst cases of the virus are recorded in the volatile region.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative said people travelling through unchecked crossings is believed to be one of the main causes of the spread of the disease in the area.
The state, which styles itself as the Democratic-led ‚Äėresistance‚Äô, has launched 46 lawsuits against the Trump administration
The Trump administration‚Äôs plans to pull millions in federal funding from California‚Äôs high-speed rail project is just the latest antagonism between the president and the state that stands on the opposite end of his party‚Äôs ideological spectrum.
Governor Gavin Newsom called the move ‚Äúpolitical retribution‚ÄĚ for the state‚Äôs lawsuit against Donald Trump‚Äôs declaration of a national emergency, but California and Trump have been at it since before he was even elected president.
Though Trump himself suggested there is no real emergency, courts are unlikely to second-guess a president‚Äôs broad leeway
Many legal analysts who watched Donald Trump declare a national emergency over immigration on Friday thought the president had weak legal grounds for doing so. In particular, many thought Trump hurt his own case by admitting, right there in the White House Rose Garden: ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt need to do this, but I‚Äôd rather do it much faster.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThis quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every complaint filed this afternoon,‚ÄĚ tweeted George Conway, a top Washington lawyer and the husband of Trump aide Kellyanne Conway.
Attempt to hustle Japan into a trade deal highlights the problems facing ‚Äėglobal Britain‚Äô
It takes a lot to anger the unfailingly polite, anglophile Japanese. But Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, appear to have managed it with their ill-judged attempt to hustle Tokyo into a quick-fire Brexit trade deal.
The diplomatic fumble has highlighted rapidly escalating difficulties facing ‚Äúglobal Britain‚ÄĚ ‚Äď the government‚Äôs nebulous vision for life after the EU ‚Äď in forging new business and trade relationships around the world without an agreed post-Brexit strategy.
I had to gain the confidence that always seemed to come naturally to my partner to release my inner handywoman
Last year my partner and I moved into a new house. The whole exercise was exhilarating ‚Äď finally, a place we owned ‚Äď but it also unearthed in me a desperation, a deep frustration. For a long time I‚Äôve wanted to be someone who fixes things, builds things, someone who is capable in practical day-to-day tasks. I own tools, I have ideas and I tinker with my surroundings, but I‚Äôve never felt completely at ease in the tasks that various men in my life seem to take on with no backward glance.
In our just-built house there were so many jobs to do with drills, hammers, caulking guns. My drive to learn by doing was offset by disorientation and self-doubt. I wanted to begin improving our house, but I didn‚Äôt know what sort of screws I needed for the curtain rod brackets, or whether I could just drill straight into the plasterboard. My partner, a man, didn‚Äôt have much more experience in these things than I did, but approached the situation with a confidence and bluster that only confused me more.
Visitors to Dartmoor zoo are being offered the opportunity to take part in its ‚Äėhuman v beast‚Äô challenge, with groups of people playing tug-of-war against a lion as it tries to wrestle meat attached to a rope.
The controversial attraction, which costs ¬£15 per person, has sparked a backlash with more than 2,000 people signing a petition to stop the practice. The petition‚Äôs author, Sue Dally, described it as, ‚Äėcruel and shows a total lack of respect for these beautiful majestic wild animals‚Äô
Barack Obama offered some advice on self-confidence to young men at an event hosted by his foundation in Oakland, California, on Tuesday.
When asked by a member of the audience about his definition of being a man, and how it relates to the LGBT+ community, the former US president said being a man was ‚Äėfirst and foremost being a good human‚Äô before going on to say that ‚Äėif you are very confident about your sexuality, you don‚Äôt have to have eight women around you twerking‚Äô
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across France in protest against an increase in the number of antisemitic attacks in the country. Recent incidents have included a Jewish cemetery being desecrated with swastikas and the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut being subjected to a torrent of hate speech on the fringe of a gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protest in Paris
Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who ran against Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, has announced his run for the presidency in 2020. Sanders, 77, running as a Democrat, will be up against a more crowded and diverse field this time round
Donald Trump has used a speech in Miami, Florida, to issue a direct appeal to members of the Venezuelan military to back opposition leader Juan Guaid√≥. The influential Venezuelan military has so far remained largely loyal to current president, Nicol√°s Maduro. The US president told the crowd: 'We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open'
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