Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
The craftsman idea of the kind of home environment that would result from more natural standards of life and work, pp. 194-205 ff.
THE CRAFTSMAN IDEA OF THE KIND OF HOME ENVIRONMENT THAT WOULD RESULT FROM MORE NATURAL STANDARDS OF LIFE AND WORK N this book we have endeavored to set forth as fully as possible the several parts which, taken together, go to make up the Craftsman idea of the kind of home environment that tends to result in wholesome living. We have shown the gradual growth of this idea, from the making of the first pieces of Craftsman furniture to the completed house which has in it all the elements of a per- manently satisfying home. But we have left until the last the of the rio~ht settino¹ for such a home and the conditions under which the question life that is lived in it could form the foundation for the fullest individual and social development. There is no question now as to the reality of the world-wide movement in the direction of better things. We see everywhere efforts to reform social, political and industrial conditions; the desire to bring about better opportunities for all and to find some way of adjusting economic conditions so that the heart-breaking inequalities of our modern civilized life shall in some measure be done away with. But while we take the greatest interest in all efforts toward reform in any direc- tion, we remain firm in the conviction that the root of all reform lies in the indi- vidual and that the life of the individual is shaped mainly by home surroundings and influences and by the kind of education that goes to make real men and women instead of grist for the commercial mill. That the influence of the home is of the first importance in the shaping of character is a fact too well understood and too generally admitted to be offered here as a new idea. One need only turn to the pages of history to find abundant proof of the unerring action of Nature¹s law, for without exception the people whose lives are lived simply and wholesomely, in the open, and who have in a high degree the sense of the sacredness of the home, are the people who have made the greatest strides in the development of the race. When luxury enters in and a thousand artificial requirements come to be regarded as real needs, the nation is on the brink of degeneration. So often has the story repeated itself that he who runs may read its deep significance. In our own country, to which has fallen the heritage of all the older civilizations, the course has been swift, for we are yet close to the memory of the primitive pioneer days when the nation was building, and we have still the crudity as well as the vigor of youth. But so rapid and easy has been our development and so great our prosperity that even now we are in some respects very nearly in the same state as the older peoples who have passed the zenith of their power and are beginning to decline. In our own case, however; the saving grace lies in the fact that our taste for luxury and artificiality is not as yet deeply ingrained. We are intensely commercial, fond of all the good thino¹s of life, proud of our ability to ³get there,² and we yield the palm to none in t~e matter of owning anything that money can buy. But, fortunately, our pioneer days are not ended even now and we still have a goodly number of men and women who are helping to develop the country and make history merely by living simple natural lives close to the soil and full of the interest and pleasure which come from kinship with Nature and the kind of work that 194
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