British journalist becomes a mechanic for a day

Iain Hollingshead, writing for the Telegraph, decides to test out the theories in a book by Matthew Crawford on the benefits of working with one’s hands. He decides to help his favorite mechanic services his Alpha Romeo:

I have a minor triumph of my own when, after an hour of gentle, blokey ribbing for knowing nothing about cars, I mend a fiddly rear numberplate light. As we celebrate with a mug of builder’s tea, I’m surprised by how pathetically, disproportionately happy I feel. Then I remember Crawford’s words: “The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world.”


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