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Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
(1909)

The craftsman idea of the kind of home environment that would result from more natural standards of life and work,   pp. 194-205 ff.


Page 194

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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