John Ratzenberger has been featured on the Huffington Posts’ blog in an article titled Self-Reliance and Handsaws: John Ratzenberger’s Tools for Life by Joseph Parker. Highlights include:
To Ratzenberger, equipping the children of future generations with such hands-on skills and abilities is imperative to the continuation of our economy and way of life. He believes our country was built thanks to the hard work and self-sufficiency of those who knew how to create and fix things. “That’s what built America: self-reliance. You just did it. Figure it out,” he says.
But more and more, Americans are getting in the habit of picking up the phone and calling in a professional rather than fixing something themselves. And that, to Ratzenberger, is a travesty.
“By the time everybody realizes the problem, it’s going to be too late. Right now, there’s time to still teach children and get them interested in the nuts and the bolts and the saws and the hammers, because right now they’re not.”
Ratzenberger’s hope is that shows like “Made in America” will help to bolster the American public’s view of the construction industry, and even reinvigorate younger generations’ interest in learning how to build and fix things themselves. According to John, anyone can take on the proper training and learn to work with their hands.
“When I teach people and show people, a lot of people have the understanding that they’re not handy at all, or they can’t do something,” Ratzenberger says. This is something he hopes to change with better education, which can in turn lead to students — specifically, kids — feeling a sense of accomplishment when they build or create something that will stand the test of time.