What do we need to know these days?

I was in a bookstore the other day and noticed there was a charming little tome that claimed to list all the things that a man needed to know how to do, from tying a necktie to choosing a wine. This started me thinking: what are the skills that all of us need these days? Have we actually defined them?

Maybe we should. I kept thinking about it and even did some research and found out that various cultures (the ancient Chinese and the Greeks and Romans among them) had instruction manuals for the things that a well-bred person needed to know and do. The Chinese list was the most extensive—37 different skill sets in order to be a well-rounded individual. Wow.

I decided to put together my own list of modern skills needed in order to be a more competent, capable person. I did my best to make it as comprehensive as possible, but I’m sure I may have missed a few things. I left out things like horsemanship and sword-fighting, since they seem less appropriate these days, but there do seem to be plenty of things that we should know.

The Modern Skills list: (in no particular order)

  1. Computer skills
  2. Business basics
  3. House cleaning
  4. Laundry
  5. Cooking
  6. Changing a tire
  7. Hooking up an entertainment system
  8. Mathematics/Accounting
  9. Basic chemistry
  10. First aid/CPR
  11. Building a fire
  12. Basic home repair
  13. Business English
  14. How to tie a knot
  15. Sewing on a button
  16. Shopping/bargain hunting
  17. Philosophy
  18. Classic books/movies/theater
  19. Self-defense
  20. Basic car maintenance
  21. How to dress well
  22. Courtesy/good manners
  23. How to be organized (I need help with this one)
  24. Driving (road rage is a little too common, don’t you think?)
  25. Social skills

I know there are more skills that could be added to this list, but these are the ones that I could think of off the top of my head. Let us know what your ideas are; we’ll add them to the list. Maybe we can come up with a new definition for a modern renaissance man!

Send us your ideas—What are the skills we need in modern life?

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