There is nothing like bringing something into existence. This could mean fixing a broken computer or tweaking an existing gadget and somehow making it better. It is a skill unlike no other.
My mother was a great tinkerer. In high school, I likened her to MacGyver. MacGyver was an action series that ran when I was in high school (circa 1985 to 1992). MacGyver solved complex problems and got himself out of difficult situations with gum, a swiss army knife, and whatever was on hand.
My mother could fabricate a fix on the spot—be it a toy that had seen better days, or a toaster. Years later, I would realize that this in part came from living in Cuba during the revolution. When resources ran short, she adapted, taking random pieces of this or that to construct a new object to meet a need or solve a problem. Have any of you ever seen an episode of Cuban Chrome? Sadly, this series was short-lived, but watch just one and you will see what I mean. Cubans call this inventando. Translation: inventing. It’s what you do when you are resource-poor, but rich in imagination. We Americans call it ingenuity. It’s a beautiful thing.
And something powerful happens when we use it.
When we build something with our own hands, we have no other option but to understand it. And if we continue to reimagine and rebuild, we evolve those skills and evolve our ability to solve complex problems.
At its essence, this defines creativity—the ability to transcend traditional patterns and create new forms. And we must create the space for this kind of learning.
Given all the social, tech, and enterprise disruption these days, this will be an essential skill for the future. Some examples:
- Uber disrupting the taxi cab industry
- Airbnb disrupting the travel industry
- Big data disrupting our privacy
- Facebook disrupting the civic and public square
We need to grow a generation of young, innovative minds that are capable of solving the complex problems we face. And our public and nonprofit educational infrastructure needs to catch up and create and nurture the space to make this kind of learning possible.
This is what we are hoping to do at Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS). And we can’t do it alone! We need great minds to join us.
Sixteen Eastie-based non-profits and several civic leaders will be joining us this Thursday September 28th between 5 and 7:30 at MLCS in the community room for our first volunteer fair, Eastie Serves! Please stop by, meet the organizations, and enter a raffle to one of six Eastie eateries “old” and “new” (such as Cunard Tavern, KO Pies, Mi Pueblito, and many more!).
Big thanks to John Burton for helping us to connect to these amazing local businesses and to Sam Albertson for all his work to get this event off the ground!
Finally, we are putting out a call to any tinkerers, builders, makers, hackers, inventors, and artisans to come volunteer at MLCS. Please come to the event on Thursday. If you can’t attend but are interested in volunteering with us, please sign up here.
Thank you for your support!
P.S. We are also asking for donations to support our new kid’s makerspace. Here is an Amazon wishlist of items we could use.