I notice well made things. I like well crafted tools. I can tell the difference between surgical instruments made in Germany and Pakistan by holding them. The German ones are balanced, sturdy, right. The Pakistani ones are less precise even in the holding of them. Subtle differences, but in holding the well made tool I feel (literally) happier. This is a weird thing I guess. Can‘t explain it. Maybe I feel connected to the person who spent the extra time forging it well.
Doing surgery for a while, as I have, I can tell the difference between threads that are a tenth of a millimeter in diameter by how they feel in my gloved hand. This doesn‘t matter, except that it is amazing to think of what our brains can learn to do.
Someone made a fence out of old corrugated metal and grating. It is better than a fence that you can buy, I think. Why is that? I mean why is it that I think that and why do I think about that and take a picture and write a blog post? It‘s better than thinking about all the things that don‘t matter…all the ways that we divide ourselves – gossip (I do it), undercutting, exploiting weaknesses in those around us. I am thinking about the working world now. I like this fence. When I saw it I believed it was made to bring neighbors together and not as way to keep them out. That is why these little emphases on quality and craft and beauty matter to me.