This is a list of the top 10 skills every human should know how to do. Every item on this list is something which everyone should encounter at least a few times in their life. In the United States, where I live, I believe we should require testing on this list before a student graduates from High School. I have placed them in order.
10 – Ride a bicycle
The bicycle is an amazing piece of equipment. Whether it’s a professional racing bike or something out of a junk heap, at some point you’re going to want to ride one.
9 – Tie a knot
There are several types of knots everyone should know how to tie and I have listed them by purpose below.
- Tie a rope to a pole where it can slip
- Tie a rope to a pole where it doesn’t slip
- Tie two ropes ends of the same size together
- Tie two ropes ends of different sizes together
- Tie the end of a rope to the middle of another rope so it doesn’t slip
- Tie a knot to act as a stopper on a rope
8 – Use basic tools
Basic hand woodworking tools can be very useful for lots of applications and knowledge of their use can be transferred to so many other things. I’ve listed some of the most basic. The theory of them are described in science classes but their practical application is ignored.
- Simple machines: Lever, Pully, Screw
- Hand tools: Screwdriver, Wrench, Pliers
- Cutting Tools: Knife, Saw, Clippers, Scissors
7 – Swim
Much of the fear people have of the water I believe comes from us no longer requiring this important skill.
6 – Cook
This is a basic trait of being human and it’s been left to only a few who seem to know how to do it. I’ve known people who actually brag about only being able to make themselves cereal. As humans we have to eat multiple times a day and not knowing how to prepare the food you eat is like saying “I don’t know how to breathe.”
5 – Basic accounting
I added this one high on the list because it gives so many people trouble. The majority of my friends are unable to keep even the most basic household budgets. There are some basics every person should know:
- How to file and pay taxes
- How to make a budget
- How to balance your finances
- How a loan works
- How income works
4 – Sharpen a knife
Do you know the difference between sharpening and honing and why you should do each? If you have never used a sharp knife, you will not know how important this skill is. Many times when people are struggling with cooking it’s not because they don’t know how to cook, it’s because they don’t know how to take care of their tools.
3 – Apply first aid
You WILL need this at some point in your life whether it’s for you, someone or care about or a total stranger. Basic first aid is a skill we should all know and keep up with.
2 – Think critically
Many people believe this is something people are born with. It’s not. The ability to look at a problem or solution critically and think it through is something you have to learn. I’ve taken several critical thinking classes and I’ve received some of the best lessons in my life from them. This is a skill you will use almost daily.
1 – Be kind to others
This is another skill many people believe come naturally but in many cases it doesn’t. Understanding the importance of being kind is a lesson every child needs to receive from multiple places. At home, at school and at play. It’s such a critical part of our civilization it doesn’t need to be ignored. I consider it the most important skill any person can have.
This is a list of skills I would have liked to add to the list but didn’t make the top 10 in no particular order.
- Start a fire (and keep it lit)
- Pick a lock
- Write a basic business proposal
- Read Music
- Plant a Garden
- Clean laundry
That is my top 10, do you have any you think should have also made this list? Are there any of these you are unable to do? Maybe wish you could?