The Importance Of Productive Hobbies
By: Kaiser Wayne
Western culture and advanced technology has afforded people a luxury not known by previous generations: leisure time. Prior generations had to work continuously to eke out an existence. Men and women were up before dawn and in bed not long after sunset. As populations grew in cities and subsistence fell by the wayside, we for the first time had free time. Out of this free time, we found activities to fill that time. The activities varied by our interests and allowed us to glean fulfillment and enjoyment.
It seems though, hobbies aren’t what they used to be. Instead of taking up woodcarving, artistry or a productive hobby, young men are turning to video games and non-productive activities. While video games are fun and are pleasant distractions, playing and beating one does not produce anything. Gone are the days when a young man would whittle a stick into some small effigy.
It is time that we as western men find a productive outlet once again. I am blessed to have many productive hobbies that I derive pleasure and fulfillment from. I am an angler, brewer, hunter, taxidermist, musician, and aquarist. Each one of these hobbies is different yet I am proficient in each of them. Each one requires different skills, and patience, but that’s part of the enjoyment. Learning new skills is the foundation of what it means to take on a productive hobby. This in turn, makes us well rounded.
Why is it important that we are well rounded individuals? The answer is much simpler than one can imagine. Well-rounded men, make better fathers. I learned hunting and fishing from my father at a very young age. I learned keeping aquariums and music from my mother. Brewing and taxidermy I learned on my own, yet the fact remains, that I bonded with my parents and learned lifelong skills by engaging in their hobbies with them.
Our goal as western men, is to raise western families. We must have a career or trade that allow us to provide, and we must also bond with our children. Having hobbies that you introduce your children to will facilitate that bonding. Shared experiences in the deer blind or at the piano will provide cherished memories for you and your children. Therefore, it is important that we take up hobbies that produce. Not that I haven’t had good times playing Madden against my Pops, but catching monster speckled trout and bull reds is a much better memory. Not only did we have to land the fish, we had to clean them, and finally, we got to eat them. No doubt my brothers and I will remember our fishing trips for years to come.
As your children grow and become more proficient in the hobbies you expose them to, they may even surpass your level of skill. My father expressed pride in me a few months ago when I showed him how to use a bait caster reel. He messed up a few times and backlashed the reel, but I would correct it and kept him fishing. I long for the day when my child teaches me something new about the activities we share together.
So how does one go about finding a hobby? Build upon your interests. Find the things you like, and try to create them. My sister loves scented candles, so I bought her a candle making kit. She now produces candles as a hobby and sells them to her friends and coworkers. My youngest brother helps me brew beer. He is researching recipes and we will shortly be brewing his beer.
My next bit of advice in finding a hobby is to examine your skillset. If you have an affinity for smoking meat, maybe try making jerky from scratch. If you are a decent drawer, try drawing caricatures of people you know. Have a green thumb? Start a garden.
The point is, put the video game down and create something or learn something. I started learning Italian when I had off periods at work by using the duo lingo app. It is not hard to be well rounded. In the age of information, knowledge is literally at the tips of our fingers. It is in our best interest to take that knowledge and put it to use.
Once you’ve found something you enjoy, find others that enjoy it also. There are clubs, online forums, and numerous outlets where you can enjoy your hobby with other likeminded folks. A fellow brother keeps fish. He and I have sent pictures of our tanks to each other online. Though I have not met this man in real life, there is kinship in the fact that we are both aquarists.
Keep the mind strong. Find hobbies you could share with your children one day. Most importantly, find hobbies that are productive, and give you some sense of fulfillment
Author: Kaiser Wayne