Traditional Teachings

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The tradition of the father teaching his son specific and essential survival tasks goes back before the dawn of civilization. As we as a species evolved to develop skills and understanding, it became apparent that sharing these things enhanced our chances for survival. This shared knowledge that developed into a foundation of culture that was subsequently handed down to following generations, who adapted the practices to a changing environment and developed better ones as needed, we arrive at what we have today.

Well, today I don’t really need to go out and hunt a wild pig or defend against a grizzly bear. A squirrel is the most visible remnant of the wild kingdom in our neighbourhood. But, installing a kitchen faucet; that’s useful!

The other day I taught my son how to remove and then install a kitchen faucet. Useful information that he may apply when he gets a house. I have found that the ability to complete such household chores results in unfettered delight from my wife. A worthy reason to suffer the process.

Through this project I taught my son many valuable lessons: visualizing the outcome; how to select the right tools for the job; the value of removing all the junk under the sink first and then how to shimmy through that tight space filled with pipes, hoses, water filters, and a garburator; using a pillow to lie on; how to manipulate his arms through the maze of pipes etc. to reach the bolts securing the old faucet; how to undo a bolt (and which direction is counter-clockwise, a learning not often got in this digital age); how to manipulate a wrench to fit into tight areas where there is no horizontal room; how to problem-solve when you realise the last bolt securing the old faucet is unreachable; team-work; how to smash the old faucet to bits so that what remains slides easily down through the hole in the counter-top; how to use plumber’s tape to seal the threaded connections; how to connect the new faucet to the existing plumbing; turning on the water; watching the water come out of the faucet for the first time, with no leaks. Sensing the satisfaction of a successful installation. Seeing how happy was his mother.


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