A Lesson From Woodturning for Politicians

It is election season again. This seems to come around with the same frequency as hunting seasons, though hunting seasons enjoy more popularity. Because of various reasons, Game Fish Departments use hunting as a method of controlling game species populations. When it comes to politicians, our methods of control have utterly failed. Those pesky fellows are getting more numerous than ever.

This sounds like something Will Rogers would have said. However, I can’t claim any kinship. The closest I am related to Will is that he was also from Oklahoma.

On the strength of that relationship, I advised Mitt Romney on how to run his previous campaign. In my book, The Woodturner’s Project Book, I suggested he travel with a lathe and as many tools as he could afford. He would at least have come out of his campaign with something to show for his effort. I suggested that by the time the next election came around, there would be enough new tools and accessories to justify running again.

Well, he is back. Had he taken my advice in 2007-08, he could have followed the same winning strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing Romney’s bid for election. I would advise any politician the same.

All this talk about turning, re-turning, and change is in the jurisdiction of woodturning. So lets see some results. How about some nice spindle work instead of just spin control. Well-proportioned hollow vessels are both a thing of beauty and an item that can be useful; hollow words are deceptively useless. Good bowls could be used to carry our compassion to those suffering from lack of necessities.

There are two things any woodturner knows that politicians need to learn. One: some ideas are only destined for the firebox. Two: Except for spindles, no work is complete without corresponding internal changes.

Some politicians spend a lot of time talking about religion. The best advice I have recently run across comes from a Quaker of the 1600s. His name could denote woodturning. “Pennington” could mean the town where pens are made, but I stretch the point. He said,

Let your religion be to feel the pure principle of life in the pure vessel of life for the eye must be pure that sees the life, and the heart that receives it. And faith is a pure mystery, and it is only held in a pure conscience. Know that life in you that purifies you, and then you know Christ, and the Father, and the Spirit; and as that lives and grows up in you, so shall you know their dwelling-place, and partake of their life and fullness.” (Isaac Pennington)

Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book

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About Ellis Hein

I am a woodturner and the author of The Woodturner's Project Book. I have a life-long interest in the gospel preached by George Fox and the early Quakers. You can see some of my material on that subject at http://nffquaker.org/profiles/blog/list?user=1zw2th7nj9p89.
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