It’s President’s Day, and today I’m teaming up with Folk Magazine to discuss a topic related to our early Presidents: Ingenuity in America. How do I perceive American ingenuity? Where does ingenuity thrive today?
First, let’s take a look at what ingenuity means. Here’s the definition, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Skill or cleverness in devising or combining: inventiveness.
Cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance.
Now that we have the definition out of the way, is ingenuity present in America today? The short answer is yes. I see ingenuity in America every day. It’s present in a lot of places, but I’ll stick with a couple of subjects I know well.
Ingenuity in Homeschooling
Homeschooling is the ultimate example of American ingenuity. When parents see that the public school system will not work for them, for whatever reason, they design educational programs that work for their individual children.
Parents hand pick curriculum and teaching methods to fit the individual needs of their students. The approaches are many: classical, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, unschooling. Families like mine use several approaches and use different approaches for different students.
This individualized education can solve problems related to:
- learning disabilities
- world view disagreements with subjects taught in public schools
- illness, which would keep a child out of public school for extended periods of time
Yes, homeschooling parents display ingenuity just by what they do every day: teaching their children in a non-traditional way. And as homeschooling becomes more widespread, the many resources that are created to support homeschooling families increases, too. There seems to be no limit on the creativity used by homeschooling parents to support their children and each other.
Another area where I’ve seen a lot of ingenuity in America is the explosion of online entrepreneurship. When the economy turned several years ago, people faced with losing their jobs needed to come up with new ways to support their families. As a result, blogging boomed.
People who used to work 9 to 5 jobs quit their jobs to pursue online entrepreneurship full time. Moms leveraged their value as primary shoppers in the family to become brand ambassadors for their favorite companies. Moms and dads looking to pinch pennies passed their knowledge to others looking to do the same, and in the process they built big brands themselves - brands that brought in needed income and put food on their tables.
It seems ingenuity often comes out of hardship, and what we are seeing today is not different. Faced with a financial crisis, the American people put their skills and knowledge to work and cashed in on a largely unchartered territory.
Where Does Ingenuity Come From?
Talking about ingenuity and the American people makes us sound brilliant. And in many ways we are. But that brilliance needs to come from somewhere. And there is none more brilliant than God himself, creator of heaven and earth.
God made us a creative people, a people with the ability to solve problems ingeniously. To me, it’s exciting to see the solutions to problems that we humans come up with, because it’s a reflection of God, in whose image we are made.
To see what others have to say about ingenuity in America, please visit Folk Magazine.