Consider the Plumber and the Poet, both more elevated than yours truly in any hierarchy of Important Persons. Have you ever had a sewage pipe leak at 3am on a freezing Monday morning? That guy with the pipe wrench and toilet snake will be on the your Christmas card list for the foreseeable future; few things are so mundane or important as effective sanitation. Then again, not all things of value come with a price tag; written on Jackson Pollack's headstone are the words; "Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity; without them there would be little worth saving.” the Poet serves as a guide in unwrapping parts of ourselves that don't make sense, until set down on paper, by putting the un-sayable into words. Are there many things more valuable than being able to say, with some certainty, "I know who I am"?
And so, in the great cosmic jigsaw puzzle, what about the Bicycle Wheel Builder? Are we superfluous or do we have a legitimate place to stand? Do our skills add value and leave our community better than we found it? I've made a habit of not speaking for others; the following reflects my motivations and mine alone, but I'll wager that the aspirations that propel me are not that different than those that animate other artisans of the wheel. I live in hope that The Butterfly Effect really exists; the idea that a small event can have a large, unpredictable influence on the future. The "small event" is providing my customer with the bestest wheel set for him, or her. I want my customer to return invigorated from their ride and take on the day with enthusiasm and optimism. On account of how my wheels rolled, I want my rider to be more generous with those around them. Because my wheels made them feel so good, I want my rider to discover the cure for an incurable disease. Because they had such a good ride this morning/weekend, I live in hope that my rider will speak more kindly to those around them; maybe to someone who becomes their future mate. I practice my craft inspired by the unsupported belief that everything is connected; that this small thing I do (building the best possible wheel set for my customer) produces a rippling effect, causing larger changes to take place in that person's life. It's all unproven, naturally. But because I believe it, it is so.
The wheel builder; Master of the Butterfly Effect.