Viewpoint: The Maker Movement

Sep 09, 2014

The above book is available at Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

Have you heard of The Maker Movement? I’ve only recently started seeing it used as a term, but it is more than just a catch phrase. I believe it is part of the return of “America, The Great”.

Sometimes people, even nations stray from the path that made them great in the first place. They start taking the easy road rather than the right road. I believe this is what happened to America.

When America was new, she was the land of Makers. We made everything we used. And we invented new things to make what we do easier and better than what we could in the past. Even with the Industrial Revolution, we continued in that trend, just on an increasingly large level.

And then….we started getting greedy, and in some ways, lazy. It became not about what we could make, and the good we could do with it. Iit became about Wall Street. And the truth of the matter is, Wall Street only cares about money. It doesn’t even really care about where the money comes from. American money….Chinese Money….Japanese Money….Russian Money….it really doesn’t matter to Wall Street. It all lines their pockets.

Now….I have no problem with making money. As a matter of fact, it would be nice for myself to be making more of it. It would simplify my life in some respects, mostly because I value food and electricity and a roof over my head. But….I do believe in making money through integrity.

The Maker Movement even has its own Wikepedia listing. That means it’s becoming something of which to take notice. Time Magazine did an article on it.

Wikepedia defines the Maker Movement as “a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3D printing, and the use of tools, as well as more traditional activities like metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses new and unique applications of technologies, and encourages invention and prototyping. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively.”

Why is this important?

Because it reveals a growing desire among Americans to get back to what made America great in the first place: turning ideas into invention, and making the world a better place because of it.

I don’t want my life to be ruled by what is made in China. I do not want my life to be ruled by greedy people who choose making money over making a better society and world.

Will Wall Street try to get in on that? Yep. Because that’s what Wall Street does.

But….I would rather Wall Street make money off of American ingenuity rather than foreign cheap labor.

And I believe that can happen, but we all have to become “Makers”.

We don’t all have to take a knitting class or learn basket-weaving, but we all do need to “make” our communities better by trying to figure out what we can contribute to make that happen.

When we all become “Makers” instead of “Takers”, we will see a lot of things change for the better. It will change how we see ourselves, and it will change how the world sees us. That doesn’t mean I’m a bleeding-heart liberal who wants to surrender all our weapons so we can all sing campfire songs together. It just means I want us to return to being a nation of high integrity and maximum creativity. It starts with you and I. It starts with this community. It starts with putting people and good ideas ahead of politics.

I’m a Maker. Are you?