Humble Pie

Let me point out that in this age of digital professorship, not everyone who gets in front of a video camera knows what they’re talking about or can teach. They may know a lot about cameras.

Not everyone who picks up a chisel or a guitar can teach you how to use it. Even the best woodworker or musician may not be a teacher. A teacher remembers what it was like to be new at this skill. To be unsure and tentative and yet to be excited by the possibilities of their new vast world.

I remember being new. I remember being astonished by what I could do and yet how much there was still to know. I remember making mistake after mistake in my feeble attempts to make something work at the bench.

It’s one of the lessons that teachers have to learn, that I had to learn as a teacher. That being superior to someone else in knowledge has nothing to do with your superior skill or your pedigree or your innate talent. It is study and persistence and experience that gets you to that place. It isn’t just skill. It is practice. And if you don’t understand that everyone starts from a place of ignorance, if you forget your beginnings, if you forget how many mistakes you had to make in order to become who you are, you will forget that the master needs the greatest dose of one trait in order to be able to train others. If the master has learned well, he or she will emanate this quality. It is humility.

The work will teach you to eat pie, humble pie. Accept its lesson.

Making sure the plane bottom is flat and true with a flat and true hand plane.


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