Do you know how to start an avocado plant from a pit?
Treat and prevent food poisoning?
Can you build a successful campfire?
Do you know how to graft fruit, plant an apple tree?
Have you ever canned your own vegetables?
Do you know how to cook and store eggs?
Could you, at this moment, mount and safely ride a horse?
Have you ever used a chain hoist?
How about testing and replacing an electric switch?
If you had to, could you rewire a lamp?
How about design a solar greenhouse?
Have you ever administered pet medication?
I never learned necktie tying or how to needlepoint.
But I can change an oil filter, grow orchids and treat a nosebleed.
Do you know the way things work?
Do you know about levers and cams and springs and belts?
Are you capable of expertly bleeding a hot-water heater?
Have you ever collected rainwater, got rid of pesky rodents, built a retaining wall?
Are you master at weaving baskets?
Do you know how to eliminate leaks in a faucet? Test and replace a wall switch?
How about the universal calls for help?
If you had to, right now, could you clear a blocked airway, stop heavy bleeding,
treat a dangerous spider bite?
Do you know how to use gasoline safely, eat with chopsticks, skilfully use a soldering gun?
How about maintaining a car battery? Or darning socks?
Could you survive if snowbound in a car at ten below?
Did you know that laziness can kill you and circumspection could mean your death?
Have you ever read of the way Eskimos used to treat their young
so they wouldn’t become lazy?
Did you know that monks take a cold shower every morning to
thoroughly wake themselves up?
Are you aware that things die out by attrition when they are, supposedly, no longer needed?
Could you exist in a different world if your one predictable world
were to disappear?
*art: collage, colored pencils