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!
Weather experts expect previous June highs to be approached and possibly exceeded in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with all-time records likely to be broken in some countries.
Minister says Islam forbids such a move as country prepares to breach nuclear deal
Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon, its foreign minister has claimed, saying Islam prevented the country from doing so.
Iran has previously said it is ideologically opposed to acquiring nuclear weapons and seeks nuclear power only for civilian purposes. But in the current unpredictable climate it is possible Donald Trump could pick up Javad Zarifâs remarks as a signal to talk.
Boris Johnson has been filmed at a private garden party telling Conservative members that the NHS absolutely needs to be reformed, as he fired them up for a general election by asking them to be ready to âwallop Jeremy Corbynâ.
The frontrunner to be Conservative leader and prime minister was videoed giving a rabble-rousing stump speech to members in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, the day after the Guardian revealed that police had been called to his girlfriendâs flat following a late-night altercation.
Legislative gaps in Britain blamed in European report that encountered âmafia networksâ
An EU agency has highlighted the heightened risk of foreign domestic workers in the UK enduring slavery-like conditions but conceded its pan-European study of labour conditions had been impeded by âmafia networksâ.
The study (pdf) by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found exploitative employers had a feeling of impunity across Europe but that legislative gaps in Britain were raised as one of its particular concerns.
Foreign minister says there are âindividual incidentsâ that can be compared to UK knife crime
Pakistanâs foreign minister has sought to dismiss accusations of Christian persecution, claiming there were âindividual incidentsâ comparable to knife crime in the UK.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking during a visit to Brussels, said reports of religious minorities being targeted in Pakistan did not constitute a trend and the recent claims of Christian persecution were an example of âwestern interestsâ that âwant to paint Pakistan in a particular wayâ.
UK ambassador says Berlin is willing to hear fresh ideas for Irish border problem
Germany will fight to the last hour to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal and is willing to hear any fresh ideas for the Irish border backstop, the countryâs ambassador to the UK has said.
Speaking at a car manufacturersâ summit in London, Peter Wittig said Germany cherished its relationship with the UK and was ready to talk about solutions the new prime minister might have for the Irish border problem.
Dmytro Firtash, confidant of ousted Ukrainian president, faces bribery-related charges
Austriaâs highest court has upheld a decision making it possible to extradite the Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash, paving the way for him to face bribery-related charges in the United States.
Before his 2014 arrest, Firtash wielded significant political influence in Ukraine, where he had made a fortune from deals to import gas from Russia and central Asia and built a business empire worth billions.
Angie Zelter, 68, wanted judge to take âurgency of the climate emergencyâ into account
The first person to face trial over the Extinction Rebellion protests in April has been found guilty of a minor public order offence for blocking a road in central London.
Angie Zelter, 68, was given a conditional discharge at Hendon magistrates court on Tuesday after being arrested for lying in the road near Parliament Square on 17 April. She had been taking part in protests in which thousands of people blocked key sites across the capital over 10 days to highlight the escalating climate emergency.
In 2013 the Irish capital was ranked among the worldâs top 20 bike-friendly cities, but only a small part of the promised cycle network was ever built
One sunny May afternoon in Dublin, as the Spice Girls prepared to kick off their Spice World 2019 tour at Croke Park stadium, the coaches bringing their fans unwittingly sparked another reunion â the cityâs cycle activists.
It had been two years since the direct action group I Bike Dublin had mobilised to protect cycle tracks from car parking â uniting around twice a week under the hashtag #freethecyclelanes â but as police officers directed coach drivers to park in the bike lane by Dublin Bay, blocking the track, the protesters were back.
Chongqingâs population is estimated at just below 10 million but that rises to more than 31 million if the built-up surroundings are included. Belgian photographer Kris Provoost finds that in a city so large, individuals can get lost
High unemployment and living costs are driving people from the metropolis â but some rural residents arenât happy about the new arrivals
Su Ava has been up since 5am. There have been new lambs to check on, goats, cats and dogs to feed, beehives to inspect, orders to fill, and she has also made a visit to her under-construction workshop.
Her current life making and selling cheese, honey and tahini in Turkeyâs beautiful Ăanakkale region could not be more different to her old one in Istanbul. The work can be exhausting but, Ava says, she would not give it up for anything.
Her memoir of life with her abusive adoptive mother, the Hollywood superstar Joan Crawford, was perhaps the first ever to document child abuse from the point of view of the child. Now 80, is she finally free from the fallout?
It is Christina Crawfordâs 80th birthday on the day we meet, and she is energetic after an opening night. A couple of days earlier, Mommie Dearest, the musical based on her blockbuster 1978 memoir of the same name, had a run-through at Birdland, the renowned New York jazz venue, and she is hoping the show will find backing for a full production. âIt was sold out, it was fabulous,â she says, looking glamorous and spry, before issuing what has become a standard warning: âThe musical had absolutely nothing to do with the movie. I want to put that in big capital letters.â
The movie she is referring to is, of course, the 1981 adaptation of Christinaâs memoir that starred Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, Christinaâs adoptive mother, whose abuses, soberly detailed in the book, were turned by the movie into high camp. As chronicled in Mommie Dearest, Crawford slapped, kicked, punched and tried to strangle her daughter, while subjecting her to a severe schedule of cleaning and other household chores, driven by the movie starâs alcoholism and who knows what else. âWe didnât have a language for it,â says Christina. âWe didnât have laws for it. We didnât have a social context for it, and we had shame. A tremendous amount of shame, coupled with fear. It wasnât easy.â She laughs at the understatement. The publication of Mommie Dearest, perhaps the first memoir ever to document child abuse from the point of view of the child, changed the landscape of victim representation and was an early precursor to todayâs more robust state of victimsâ rights. âIâm not a martyr, but I think, looking back, it is truly amazing to me what one person can do.â
Three people could face jail if found in contempt of court over Blackpool protest
Three anti-fracking protesters have gone on trial accused of breaking an injunction designed to stop disruption of a fracking site in Lancashire.
Katrina Lawrie, Lee Walsh and Christopher Wilson took part in a âlock-onâ at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, on 24 July last year, less than a fortnight after a judge granted an injunction to the energy company Cuadrilla.
A bit more context on those incendiary tweets just sent by the president on Iran.
Trump threatened âoverwhelming forceâ and âobliterationâ should Iran attack âanything Americanâ.
With the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates set to take place tomorrow, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, currently polling at between 0-1% has tried sharing some of his debate preparation with the public.
Former ambassadors say far-right leader has cuddled up to rightwing nationalists, irked China, infuriated Middle Eastern partners, and jettisoned its position as climate crisis leader
It has long been considered one of the jewels of Latin American statecraft; a shrewd, dependable and highly trained foreign service that helped make Brazil a global climate leader and soft power heavyweight.
But six months into the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, even veteran diplomats struggle to mask their horror at the wrecking ball being taken to the countryâs nearly two century-old foreign office, known as Itamaraty after the Rio palace where it was once housed.
Jeremy Hunt calls for investigation into âviolent scenesâ during protests
The UK is suspending future sales of teargas and other crowd control equipment to Hong Kong until an independent investigation is held into allegations of police brutality during mass protests earlier this month.
The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is campaigning to be the next prime minister, said no new export licences would be approved until concerns about human rights abuses were âthoroughly addressedâ. His statement appeared to leave existing export licences untouched, including open licences not due to expire until 2020.
State education minister James Merlino announces move aimed at reducing classroom distraction and cyberbullying
Students at Victorian public schools will be banned from using their phones from next year.
In an effort to reduce distractions and cyber bullying, and hopefully improve education outcomes, students will have to switch off their phones and store them in lockers during school hours until the final bell, Education Minister James Merlino has announced.
Political, security and cultural complications â not least a refusal to believe that Ebola exists â have thwarted efforts to overcome DRCâs deadly outbreak
Moise Kitsakihu-Mbira has lost his brother, his grandson and 11 other family members to Ebola. When he himself fell sick he sought treatment in secret. His family donât believe the virus exists and think a man in their village poisoned them.
Refusal to believe in the existence of Ebola is one difficulty for doctors who say the current outbreak of the deadly virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the âmost complex public health emergency in historyâ and warn it could drag on for months.
In the early hours of a Saturday morning in the city of Nadi, on the west coast of Fijiâs main island, Isaiah* is sitting in a Burger King drinking Fanta through a straw and explaining how he became a drug dealer.
He started five years ago, aged 13, selling cigarettes and marijuana. Now he sells cocaine and methamphetamines.
Visa decision overturned for British resident Nina Saleh, 48 hours after Guardian and others published her story
A woman who was refused a visa to return to London after travelling to Pakistan to adopt a baby has been told she can come home.
Nina Saleh has a Norwegian passport but full UK residency rights after living in London for 20 years. She was refused a visa to return home with baby Sofia three times, despite going through a stringent and lengthy adoption process in the UK with British authoritiesâ involvement.
From Colombia to Zimbabwe, members of a global network of rape survivors are demanding an end to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war
All photographs by Raegan Hodge of the Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation
Carmen was raped by armed guerrilla forces in Colombia. Ekhlas was kidnapped by Isis in Iraq and forced into sexual slavery. Grace was taken by rebels from her classroom in Uganda, âgivenâ to a soldier and impregnated twice before finally fleeing to safety.
Today, these women are all members of the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Rape, known as Sema, which translates to âspeak outâ in Swahili. The network represents roughly 2,000 rape survivors and 90 yearsâ worth of conflict across 21 countries in Africa, South America, the Middle East and Europe.
Plastics are among the most ubiquitous materials in our economy, our lives, and our environment. They are also among the most pervasive and persistent pollutants on Earth.
In recent years, stark images of beaches, waterways and wildlife filled with plastic have spurred demands for action to address plastic pollution. These calls are coupled with growing concern that plastic and its toxic additives pose serious risks to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle. Far less attention has been paid to the impacts of this same lifecycle on the Earthâs climate. This is a dangerous oversight.
Bernie Sanders has a radical plan to wipe out undergraduate and graduate debt for all Americans. Here is whatâs at stake
Going to university in the US is expensive â costing an average of over $34,000 a year in tuition and fees at private universities â which means for most Americans, the only way of viably pursuing higher education is to take out a student loan.
Did you ever decide to get off a jammed freeway and take the backroads even though deep down you knew that it wouldnât be any faster? Are you constantly switching to the faster lane on a busy freeway even though you notice that cars sticking to their lanes keep catching up with you?
Both are examples of action bias, the phenomenon in which people prefer doing something over doing nothing, even if the likely outcome of the action is worse than the outcome of inaction. Research has shown that actively managed portfolios tend to do worse than passive investments. And one study found that soccer goalkeepers prefer to jump left or right during a penalty-kick, even though the best thing would be to stay put in the middle.
The US president has signed an executive order placing âhard-hittingâ new sanctions on Tehran amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran. Trump said the measures were a âstrong and proportionate response to Iranâs increasingly provocative actionsâ after a US drone was shot down last week
The Stonewall rebellion in 1969 started a revolution in LGBT rights in the US. Ed Pilkington revisits the story 50 years on with those who were there. Plus: Lucy Siegle on the rise of fast fashion
On the evening of 27 June 1969, gay men and their trans and lesbian peers gathered as usual at a bar called the Stonewall Inn. What followed would change the course of LGBT rights in the US and the wider world. A police raid on the bar in the early hours of the following day descended into violence as supporters came out on to the streets and stayed there defiantly.
The Guardianâs Ed Pilkington has tracked down some of those who took part in the rebellion and joins Anushka Asthana to discuss what happened and the growing recognition of LGBT rights in the decades that followed.
Soap, toothbrushes and blankets are some of the items migrant children detained in the US do not need, a Trump administration official has claimed. Sarah Fabian, a lawyer for the US Department of Justice, argued at the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit that such children do not always require certain sanitary products
A bug-eyed, dreadlocked pooch called Scamp the Tramp took top honours on Friday at the 31st annual World's Ugliest Dog contest. Scamp beat 18 other contestants at the event, held in Northern California. Organisers say the contest is about bringing attention to the needs of rescue dogs.
Donald Trump has said the US air force was 'cocked and loaded' to attack three Iranian targets, but he withdrew the order with 10 minutes to spare after being told the airstrikes might kill as many as 150 people. The strikes were planned in retaliation for Iran shooting down an unmanned US surveillance drone
The European council president, Donald Tusk, and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, raised some laughs after the leaders of the member states failed to reach agreement on who should take the bloc's top jobs. 'I note with some pleasure that it is not easy to replace me,' Juncker told a press conference. He will step down as commission chief in October
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