On occasion, we men mistake “honoring the past” with “living in the past.” It’s easy to do, I fall into that trap quite often. But those two statements are not necessarily synonymous. In fact, the first can be a way to live that constantly enlarges your life, while the latter has the potential to be a prison if you’re not careful. Sure, the past is a nice place to visit, but nobody really wants to live there, not really.
For example, we just introduced a leather band for the Apple Watch. Now if honoring the past means living in the past, we would need to wave off such technological wonders and insist our wrists be wrapped by watches with actual hands, probably that have to be wound, and might not even be a wristwatch but a pocket watch. Of course, and here’s the rub, if you take that approach the question is, “Where do you stop? How far back do we go?” The past, for some, is the pocket watch. But why not the sundial?
The same question arises around chopping wood. If honoring the past is living in the past, then you need an ax, you know, Henry Ford’s whole “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice” thing. Well, the reality is Henry was right, and knowing how to wield an ax is a beneficial skill. Plus chopping wood with an ax can put you in touch with some primal feelings that just might surprise you. But again, here’s the rub, what if you’re the kind of man who gets a rush out of chainsaws? Can you still honor the past while handling a Husqvarna?
I believe the answer is yes. Honoring the past means honoring the spirit of our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers without necessarily being bound by their specific moment in history. The spirit we revere here at Buffalo Jackson is one of self-reliance mixed with a keen awareness that sometimes you could use an extra hand, and that might come in the form of another ax or another chainsaw. We know each man is different in preference of tools. While some like old-school, some get a rush from the latest. But regardless of type, that bottom line spirit to honor is always the same: a job well done, one that leaves you satisfied.