The power of teamwork

I came across this YouTube video posted by Penny Miller, and I was quite impressed with not only the technical feat of building a barn in 10 hours, but how smoothly it was done.

The 3 minute and 30 second video shows what took place from 7am that morning until 5pm that evening.  Using my mathematical skills to plug numbers into a calculator, that means that 21 seconds of video equals one hour of real-time.  Around the 2 minute mark, there’s about a 10-12 second break with no visible work going on, so there was probably a 30 minute break for a meal somewhere during the build.  So, that work was actually accomplished in about 9.5 hours instead of 10.

Watching this got me to wondering how much better things would be if we all worked together like this towards common causes.  Instead of the petty whargarbl that has infested our everyday life, we could get together in the morning and solve our issues by the evening news.  I’d offer up a dream scenario about Congress working together like this, but I’m afraid that my imagination has its limits.

Anyway, I like seeing videos like this because it gives me hope for my fellow man.  Far too often, we’re inundated with negative news and never get to see or hear the good that takes place.  I enjoy seeing people work together to accomplish something great, even if it’s a barn like this particular case.


10 thoughts on “The power of teamwork

  1. Don’t know if you’ve ever encountered them, Brosephus, but the Amish (and Mennonites) are fine folks!

    Most of my extended family still lives in Ohio, though most of my relatives have left the depressed coal-mining area where both my parents were born. And there are Amish and Mennonites *aplenty* in Ohio, mostly concentrated in south central OH (around Highland County) and in east central OH (around Berlin and Millersburg). It’s not really possible to socialize with the Amish — not that they’re given much to socializing in the first place — but you can certainly do business with them. In the areas where Amish and Mennonites live and work, roadside produce and craft stands are easily found, and if you happen upon a diner or restaurant run by these folks, do yourself a favor and stop in for a meal. They don’t skimp on the servings and you certainly won’t leave hungry, as Amish food is working-man’s food. Amish/Mennonite markets are also a good bet; they offer excellent produce, cheeses, jams, jellies and preserves as well as baked goods (I recommend taking home a shoofly pie), dairy products and meat products like jerky and luncheon loaves (lunchmeat to us “English”). If you can make it out of what you grow or produce on a farm, then you can probably buy a high-quality version of it from Amish or Mennonite folks.

    If you’re in the market for furniture, you could certainly do worse than to buy from Amish craftsmen. The prices won’t be as low as you’d get at Wal-Mart or Ikea, but you’re paying for *quality,* durability and long life. Buy your child a chest of drawers from the Amish, and your child will be able to hand it down to her grandchildren.

    Now, I couldn’t live like the Amish for a number of reasons, but I certainly respect them for their commitment to a simple and hardworking lifestyle, and for the character, fair-dealing and community spirit that their lifestyle seems to engender. I do envy them for that. And I’ll have another helping of the liver and onions. 🙂


    • I’ve encountered Mennonites at work, and I’ve had small conversations with them.

      I’d love to spend some time (if I had any to spare) simply observing the Amish and Mennonites in their everyday lives. I think that too many of us over-complicate our lives and the resulting stress does us no good.

      I haven’t had the cooking, but I have seen and examined the furniture. I’d definitely have no qualms about paying a bit more for quality like that. I prefer quality over quantity 7 days a week, and I know any furniture they build is going to be quality built.


  2. I’m thinking of that lazy moocher who expected dozens of his fellow citizens to come build a barn for him. Taker.

    Seriously, I think this is a great model of the concept of community. Seventh Day Adventists do something similar. When a congregation somewhere gets ready to build a new church, they announce it well in advance. Not only does the congregation itself turn out to build with their own hands, but Adventists come from far and wide to help. I’m not religious, and I’m not convinced that religion of any kind has served humanity very well on balance. But I can’t deny its power to create community. It’s a beautiful thing when it works.

    Habitat for Humanity uses this model to build homes. Perhaps every Congress should be required to build x number of homes for Habitat. It might teach them something about cooperation.


    • I like that idea about Congress spending time with Habitat. Not only would it force them to work together, but they would get to see that not all people who are in the lower income levels are moochers simply holding out their hands in anticipation for a handout from Uncle Sugar.

      Members of Congress are too far removed from everyday life, and such an exercise would put them at ground zero with everyday common people. They should have to spend their entire August recess working on Habitat projects. They can have their townhall meetings some other time. It’s not like they spend 300 days a year in DC working.


  3. I’ve always found the Amish to be quite interesting people. As an old line Hardshell Baptist, we descend from the same movement as the Amish and the Mennonites (not a lot of people realize that). The concept of each congregation being autonomous with no hierarchy (not all modern Baptists go along with that though) is shared by all 3 (as well as some others).

    I admire the Amish for actually living what they preach. Few folks of any stripe actually do that. Anytime there is something on TV about them I try to watch and learn; not those silly ass reality shows but documentaries etc. Those reality shows, like the ones about most everybody else, are just meant to hold them up to ridicule.

    One Amish man I saw once was being was filmed on a tour bus (he was a tour guide). He would allow himself to be recorded but not photographed. Most people don’t realize that each congregation has its own ordnung (rules) and they aren’t uniform from congregation to congregation. Anyway, somebody asked him about living without modern things and why they did that. He asked for a show of hands of how many folks on the bus had a TV in their home. Everyone raised their hand and then he asked how many folks thought TV caused a problem in their homes. The majority raised their hands again. He then said, (paraphrased), “If something causes problems in our homes, we don’t have it. That’s the difference in you and us”. That’s some wise advice there.

    I have friends in PA and they live in the heart of the Amish country. They speak highly of the Amish but they say a lot of people don’t treat them well. Try to scare their horses on the road and such. I reckon there’s assholes everywhere.

    In a lot of ways, I think the Amish are a lot smarter than most of us.


    • I had to look up the term Hardshell Baptist as I had not heard that one before. I didn’t realize that was the same as Primitive Baptists. My great grandmother belonged to a Primitive Baptist Church, and I used to love going there just to hear the note singing since they used no instruments. I haven’t been there in ages, and I don’t know if they do the same now.

      I’d love to spend some time amongst the Amish in their area. I don’t do the reality shows, but I’ll try to catch programs on Discovery or the History Channel if they have something interesting. I love their woodworking, and I wish I was half the craftsman they are.

      I agree with you 100% that they’re smarter than us in a lot of ways. We make things too difficult for ourselves many times when we have no reason to do so.


      • Excellent idea, sir; I totally agree. Even the most infirm of Senators should be able to swing a hammer, and the fresh air might do them some good.


  4. I failed to comment on the video. Went back and watched it and best I can tell there are about 4 dozen people, give or take. The impressive thing about this is that this was likely done without nail guns or power saws (I can’t tell for sure but it seems reasonable). Look at the lower RH corner of the barn at the number of men manning the sawing station.


    • The lady who posted the video was there with her husband, and from her YouTube comments, they assisted with the build. She posted they had one gas powered table saw. The group was old order Amish, and they did it pretty much as you said, almost completely without any power tools.


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