At Vaniman Manufacturing Co., we pride ourselves on many things. One of those things is how well-designed our products are for maintenance. The ease of maintenance of our equipment is known and appreciated by customers all over the world. With proper care, our products can last for decades.
Maintenance may be viewed by some as an annoyance, a chore, a burden. We get it – things shouldn’t be difficult, right? Things should just work, right?
But maintenance is a good thing.
In the immediate sense, the work of maintenance can make us literally happier. Research shows that deep focus and productivity can provide a sense of purpose, improve real-world skills, and lift a person’s mood. There can be a sense of pride and accomplishment after completion.
But beyond that — maintenance has a greater good.
Things fall apart
Literally everything in our lives requires maintenance. Every physical thing we own will eventually deteriorate and wear away unless we take active measures for upkeep. The things we value most of all demand that we give time, attention, even resources to maintain.
Plants require maintenance. Cars require maintenance. Our homes require maintenance. Pets require maintenance. Human relationships require maintenance.
Nothing is perfectly static. Things fall apart. That’s just how the universe works.
And though we must give much of ourselves to the things we love, it is precisely that maintenance which strengthens bonds and makes us love those things even more.
After all, what is maintenance, but an overt act of making something better?
Robert M. Pirsig figured that out when he wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Japanese artists knew it when they invented kintsugi, the art form of repairing broken pottery with pretty metallic lacquer.
By and large, maintenance is a lovely thing.
That’s why maintenance is on our minds this Independence Day.
Independence is hard
The United States of America was founded on the core principle of independence. And independence requires maintenance.
To put it mildly, there’s a lot of difficulty in our country today. But Independence is not freedom from difficulty; in fact, it’s kind of the opposite. Independence is hard. Being independent means we have to solve our own problems and we have to create our own success.
America was built to last, but it was built long ago. Those who did the original building have long since passed. It’s up to every generation to maintain — to keep working to try and craft, as the founders put it, “a more perfect union.”
Times are fraught, so we work to repair what’s broken.
And we upgrade. We add on. We expand. We grow. We nurture. We reuse. We recycle. We renew.
And most of us do it without realizing it.
We’re working on it
Every American who serves another American in some way—by manufacturing goods, by growing food, by providing health care, by keeping people safe, by providing quality services that improve lives, and so on—is doing their part to maintain our independence.
Working a graveyard shift is maintaining America. Participating in sports (player OR spectator) is maintaining America. Volunteering for election work is maintaining America. Protesting in the streets is maintaining America. Raising kids is maintaining America. Advancing a career is maintaining America. For better or worse, everything we do is a form of maintenance in this great big complex nation.
So we tip our hats to all those out there who maintain America.
We see you, truck drivers.
We see you, nurses.
We see you, mechanics.
We see you, baristas.
We see you, private security guards.
We see you, gardeners.
We see you, ridesharers.
We see you, hair stylists.
We see you, printers.
We see you, food truck operators.
We see you, grocery store employees.
We see you, artists.
We see you, historians.
We see you, dental hygienists.
We see you, military personnel.
We see you, all you Americans out there, working diligently and honestly. We see you and we appreciate you.
And you, specifically you, you do it, too.
Whether great or small, literally every single American reading this blog maintains America in some way.
So, if you’ve gotten this far in the post, thank you. We encourage you and everyone out there to keep on maintaining. As times get tougher and tougher, let’s maintain with purpose to keep making that “more perfect union.”
Happy Independence Day.
P.S. Our office is closed for Independence Day on Monday, July 4. We will return on Tuesday, July 5. During the holiday weekend, our website will still process online orders. We will reply to emails once we’re back in the office!