I’ve always admired the do-it-yourself spirit because it conjures a mental image of self-sufficiency and determination – the resilience and tenacity ingrained in the DNA of the human condition to see a need and make it happen.
When we hear the term DIY the immediate thought may turn to home or auto repairs, a person who possesses the quizzical mind to comprehend how something operates and the manual dexterity to go out and fix it.
However, extrapolating the definition of DIY encompasses something much broader and significantly more inclusive on both the small and large scale that comprises everything from personal growth and achievement to the underpinnings of political movements and the building of nations.
Sound too grand? Think about where you live. If you want to boil it down to the bare-bones basics, the United States was founded by a group of forward-thinkers who saw a better way to do things, and then set out to change it.
Yes, that’s an oversimplification; however, the DIY spirit has generated significant groundswell in the past. In the late 1970s and early 1980s when certain bands felt shut out of access to major record labels, they decided to start their own labels, record their own music, package their own albums and create their own on-the-fly touring routes crisscrossing the United States to make their music accessible to the masses. That DIY ethos defined the punk rock revolution which went on to inspire countless I-can-do-that-too garage bands and spawned new wave, alternative, grunge and other musical genres.
More recently, an unexpected collection of DIY enthusiasts is helping to save a number of species indigenous to a continent’s ecosystem. Taking a skill usually known for creating scarves and sweaters for friends and family knitters from around the world are crafting handmade pouches, nests and mittens for animals that have been injured or had their natural habitat destroyed by the wildfires that ravaged a significant swath of Australia. From Kangaroos and koalas to bats and wallabies, countless animals that have been rescued and relocated are being aided by an army of knitters, sewers and crochet divas who are funneling their skills as hobbyists toward an astounding and inspirational purpose.
Although those are bold examples, most of the pleasure from a DIY project is found on the much smaller scale of personal satisfaction and individual fulfillment that comes from doing something you love and putting passion behind a purpose, which is why we’re dedicating this issue of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine to the DIYers and the dreamers among us.
DIY doesn’t solely serve as a measurement of handiness or craftiness. More often than not, it’s and attitude, a state of being and way of thinking, that can, has and does change lives in our world.