I remember sitting in the living room as a child listening to my Parents and Grandparents talking about how “They just don’t make things like they used to.” I’m sure every household in America, over many generations, have had THAT talk amongst themselves. It’s a topic of conversation that seems to grow with every passing year. Everyone wants everything to last forever. Being a consumer, my line of thinking tends to lean in that direction as well. When I buy something, I expect it to last. Now, that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention something that I believe to be very important. What I have noticed is that the “Bar”, if you will, for “durability” isn’t the same for me as it was for my parents and doubt very much it will be the same for my Grandchildren as it was for me.
My father was a carpenter for fifty-five years. When he passed away, it was my job (regrettably) to go through his things and do what needed to be done. I swear it was as if the man never threw a tool away, or for that matter had one break on him! They were meticulously cared for and almost all, although being forty and fifty years old, worked as well now as the day the metal was forged to produce them. As a matter of fact, I’m still using many of the tools today that my father used fifty years ago. Now in conventional thinking, building things that last forever seems like, and always has been in the past, a huge selling point for that particular product. (And rightfully so!) But lets step back, maybe WAY back, LOL, to looking at the picture a little more broadly.
If everything we produce lasts forever, or at the very least, an extremely long time, aren’t we putting ourselves out of business? As much as it pains me to say this, and really, it just about kills me. Maybe we could learn something from the Chinese. Make cheap, disposable shit, and we keep the people working. They have, after all, done this very thing to America. So much so, that Americans have become addicted to cheap disposable products. And I’m guessing that we don’t even need to talk about our unemployment rate here in America, do we?
It’s a lot to think about, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll go for a ride in the country on my 1991 Harley Davidson FXRS and think about how someday, my Grandkids will work on my motorcycle, with my dad’s tools.