Must-Read: Radical Homemakers
Before the industrial revolution, families were units of production rather than consumption. They lived, worked and played together. Children were “educated” by working alongside their parents or in their communities, learning specific trades that would help them integrate into their local communities while supporting their future families. A few months ago I stumbled on a book that changed my life. It was one of those books with ideas that nagged at me, challenged me, and resonated not with who I was being at the moment, but who I knew I wanted and could be: Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. In a world where women and men are told that in order to be successful individuals they must separate from their children, and that in order for children to be successful human beings, they must go to school and enroll in four extracurricular activities, this book was a breath of fresh air. No, it was a gust of wind that blew away my preconceived notions of family and community. From the website: “Radical Homemakers uncovers a hidden revolution quietly taking hold across the United States. It is the story of pioneering men and women who are redefining feminism and the good life by adhering to simple principles of ecological sustainability, social justice, community engagement and family well-being. It explores the values, skills, motivations, accomplishments, power, challenges, joy and creative fulfillment of Americans who are endeavoring to change the world by first reclaiming control of home and hearth.” This book’s ideas are retro and forward thinking at the same time. It is about returning to simplicity in order to gain freedom. It’s about creating a life rather than just making a living. We live in a society where every problem can be solved with a purchase and every conflict with a credit card. If you’ve been itching for something different, I urge you to run to your bookstore or library and slowly absorb Shannon’s wisdom. The concepts covered include:
- DIY Lifstyle: What can I make, trade, or barter instead of buy?
- Transportation: Do you really need two cars? Or a car at all?