Not too long ago, my car's brakes started squeaking whenever we slowed down. Tell-tale sign of needing new brakes right? So I look up how much getting a new set of brakes installed would cost. Over 100$? I'm not paying that. On principle. What principle? The principle that both you, and I, are ubermensch... en? ubermenschs? Supermen. That's what we are. We zip around in our cars, we talk on our little toys that connect us to anywhere in the world and 'google' becomes an omniverb meaning 'take any concept and learn an infinite amount about it and related topics drawing from the collective knowledge of the near-entire human race.' Is it a dromedary or camel that has two humps? Google it.
On a side note, this is why our parents use to buy these. Silly, silly parents. Those things are soooo outdated. Sorry, old friend.
So I call up this awesome guy in my ward (that's congregation or parish in mormon talk) who knows about cars so he can supervise me, and then I look up some instruction on the internet. A couple hours later, I've got brakes with a life time warrantee, which obviously I'll be using, and I've saved myself 100+$. Changing your oil might not be worth the 0-5$ you'll save, but this one certainly was.
As I lay beside my car, fiddling along with tools and feeling manly, I asked my friend where he had learned about cars. He then shared with me an interesting thought which sparked this blog post. He told me that his dad had had a car which he was restoring completely, so as a kid he'd be out in the garage with his dad. What he said next was the profound part: "I didn't learn anything about cars, because I was young and my dad wouldn't let me touch anything - but I learned how not to be afraid of cars, and I guess that's really all you need."
Truer words could not be said.
Everybody who's afraid of their car, raise their hands (cue 95% of readers raising hands).
Everybody who's afraid of their computer, raise their hands (cue 95% of readers over 40 raising hands).
Everybody who's afraid of cooking, raise their hands (cue 95% of men raising hands).
Everybody who's afraid of not plugging their nose while underwater, raise their hands (Krista raises hand).
Everybody who's afraid of the monster from The Village raise their hands (Taylor raises hand).
Of course, these aren't fears that pop out at us from dark shadows -- except for that last one, I can never get those creepy long claws out of my head -- but a different kind of fear, one that comes from feeling out of our depths. Here's the news for you - if it isn't rocket science or open heart surgery, it's not out of your depth, and if it is rocket science or open heart surgery, it may still be closer to that depth of yours than you think.
We are the result of generations of scientific research and experimentation, all culminating in a sharing of information beyond anything the human race has experienced before. It's a heady and dizzying revelation, but one which results in freedom of a beautiful sort. You can build your own computer, you can cook your own 4 course meal, you can fix your own car. If a person can do it, then you can do it, because you're a person. Anything man has made, man can fix. Get a screwdriver, torque wrench, or spatula, and enrich yourself.
Not always great at this myself, and hardly a spendthrift, I have recently tried to embrace this concept. It has lead me to learning how to patch drywall, disassemble and reassemble smart phones, cook many gourmet meals, becoming a local computer guy, learning a couple programming languages, making a pumpkin patch, building my own hardwood furniture, starting to give piano lessons, and picking up Spanish. If you're tempted to be impressed here, don't be. Many of these things took a single evening, you are completely capable of doing, and this is all I can come up with for the past year or two, given the fact that you are probably more industrious than I, since most are, your own list would be much more impressive, and mostly to those who have decided not to be afraid of any task in life. It can all be done.
Makes me think of one of my favorite bits of Old Testament trivia. In the original Hebrew, there are two words for holy - one meaning something that has been made holy, and one meaning something that makes holy, or having the power to make holy. Guess what man is? Not the first. God puts us in the same category as His self, the category of having the power to make holy, and why wouldn't He? We're His children, after all. More powerful than we know.
E-mail me and let me know what complicated task you're going to become an expert in, and maybe I'll join you in your quest.
Next up for me is how to plug a hole in underground pool lining, since it costs many many dollars, and after I let my nephew ride is scooter into the pool this morning, I may need it in order to prevent myself from being another very expensive liability to my parents. Does any one have scuba gear I can borrow?
P.S. I'll update this with links tomorrow. My dad says my qi is all off and if I want it lined up again I need to start getting to bed earlier.