Sasse laments the loss of a hard-work ethic, founded on a chore schedule, and its impact on a generation of younger Americans. He encourages parents to get back to basics when it comes to pushing their kids into harder summer jobs, especially outdoor jobs. Similarly, former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe has made a name for himself promoting the value of honest labor, and many people are calling on schools to bring back shop class. In our fixation with STEM in this digital age, we’ve lost track of the practical arts, and the younger generation would rather code a video game while bingeing Mountain Dew than do something practical and constructive, like grow food or make furniture. …
[W]e find the outdoor program at Wyoming Catholic College, a liberal arts college that takes its Catholic mission seriously. All incoming freshmen take part in a three-week wilderness orientation experience in the Rockies. There’s a winter program that teaches students to endure in snow and cold, and other outdoor opportunities that involve climbing mountains or rafting rivers.
These skills are helpful in building character and rediscovering the “vanishing” American adult the junior senator from Nebraska writes about. But Wyoming Catholic also stresses something deeper: Personally experiencing the glories of creation, away from the noise of modern civilization, brings us back to the glory of the Creator, who humbled himself to spend years as a wood-working carpenter before redeeming humanity.
A problem of individualism is that it doesn’t provide much guidance for what to do with our time. It also doesn’t suggest how to work cooperatively, which was one of the building blocks of civilization to begin with. Do capitalism and individualism have to function together? No.