Changing the oil in a car used to be a rite of passage.
Before even learning how to drive, it was imperative to know how to take care of the car first. Privileges require care. To use and to take necessitates one to give back and replenish, it is the circle of life. If only we could use that same lesson of car oil to expand to our planet- the irony. Changing oil was a chance for even the most novice father to teach his son about the inner workings of a machine. Why is this important? Well for one, it is generational. His father taught him, and now he has the opportunity to pass on that knowledge to his son. These lessons are a microcosm of something larger. The ‘do it yourself’ attitude is now dominated by Instagram and Pinterest as thrifty and vintage as opposed to life lessons passed down like an heirloom.
Technology is changing so quickly that the vessel in which fathers pass down these life lessons is disappearing, and they're scrambling to find a replacement "oil change." Two things make this difficult. One, is that the American economy is transforming from a manufacturing to service based economy. We no longer build anything, we are a country of middlemen, passing the hat for a chance to earn a buck. Between AAA and Urgent.ly, we no longer need to know how to do anything with our hands except use our thumbs. Efficiency and algorithms have replaced the prideful ‘can do’ attitude and inherited knowledge. Secondly, the machines that needed fixin’, demanding that we roll up our sleeves and use the trusty elbow grease are being replaced by cleaner, electric motors. Cars are updated and fixed remotely with the use of a computer. The grease monkey is now the computer wiz.
There is an opportunity to teach around every corner, but it this time that we diverge from our fathers. Gentlemen, start your engines… I mean, press a button.