It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.
I learned that a local Texas church just sent their youth group to Latin America so that they could "help" the poor locals by repairing the sidewalk of their church. However, I learned it was one of the village contractors that actually repaired the sidewalk, but that the teenagers were allowed to help with some of the tasks, like mixing the cement. I notice that the sidewalks in front of their own church, here in Texas, are not in good repair.
Here at our home, our children are replacing the rusted-iron fence around our swimming pool. I first had the job quoted by a couple of local contractors, both Latin Americans, and they each came in at more than $7,500. Instead of hiring one of them, I purchased a little MIG welder package for my teenage sons ($750), gas, tank, cart, and wire ($400), and new steel fencing ($700). We already own a grinder, but I did buy some more cutting and grinding wheels ($60). They are almost done, and I will soon need to buy the paint and thinner for them to finish the job ($70).
I have not given our boys any instruction, mostly because I do not know how to weld, but also because there is a massive amount of good instruction available for free on youtube. Mainly, I do not want to steal from them the chance to develop self esteem by doing for them what they can do for themselves. I did tell them that I reserve the right to personally inspect every weld, and that they would need to redo any that did not look absolutely perfect. They know their father well enough to not bring up the fact that I have no qualifications to judge a weld.
They have been spending many hours a day on this project. I have heard rumors of procrastination, argument, negotiation, foul language, mistakes, and threats. I have seen actual evidence of failure, determination, improvement, success, productivity, craftsmanship, pride, and increased self-esteem. The work I have inspected looks great, and the boys are now clearly enjoying the project. Yesterday, I was thanked for giving them the opportunity to learn how to weld.
Here are some do-it-yourself ideas for you, or someone you love, to develop self esteem.
Prepare a meal from scratch
Host a dinner party at home
Negotiate for and buy some used tools at a pawn shop
Change the oil, oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter on your vehicle
Check the antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid, and transmission fluid
Rotate the tires on your vehicle (far better to learn in your garage than by fixing a flat on the roadside)
Visit AutoZone and have them download the diagnosis for that check engine light you ignore, for free, then consult youtube on how to address the diagnosis
Repair some damaged drywall in the home and then paint it
Replace the cartridge of a leaky faucet
Replace or repair a broken light fixture
Sew a missing button on a garment
Launder and press some cotton shirts and pants
Measure and hem some pants to length
Sharpen your knives
Install Malwarebytes or a similar program on your PC
Install additional memory
Write an article about the meeting, and submit it to ZeroHedge or your local newspaper
Write your own healthy menu and shopping list
Write your own fitness goals and exercise plan
Make your own monthly budget and follow it
Write your own savings goals, and a plan to achieve them
Get out of debt (It is OK to get help if you need it)
I hope readers will add their own do-it-yourself ideas and experiences in the comment section.
Peace, liberty, and prosperity,