You know when you read a book and it’s like the author is speaking directly to you, reading your mind? ‘Sew Your Own’ by Jean-Paul Flintoff was one of those for me.
The book is a record of his personal journey to find spiritual enlightenment, solve the global energy crisis and make his own clothes.
It covers wide-ranging topics such as peak oil, sweatshops, organized religion, meditation and hand weaving. It sounds worthy and possibly dull, but it’s not. He’s engaging and humble and enquiring. He made me nod my head enthusiastically at every chapter.
His central message, I think, is this: Every person can make a difference, no matter how small. It’s no good saying that our problems are so big, so overwhelming that there’s nothing to be done, that only governments can solve them, and even then probably not. By living our lives deliberately, not wasting energy and time on worrying about what we can’t control, we can make a difference.
As he travels along the road to the realisation of this fact, he discovers that it is in the making of things that we gain fulfilment. He rids his house of rats, builds bookshelves and makes his own clothes. There’s no such thing as not enough time to make your own underpants. You just make time. The deep sense of satisfaction you gain by creating something will make you stronger and sustain you spiritually.
I’m possibly making it sound a bit loopy. I hope I’m doing it justice. Because it’s one of those books you want to share.