500 Words On The Importance Of Hands

500 Words On The Importance Of Hands

Really, it's a metaphor for life.
1652
views

A baby grips its father’s single, pointer finger. A mother gently cradles its head. From soft back rubs lulling you to sleep, to a light caress on a cheek from a lover. From a first, hesitant holding of hands to a familiar interlocking of fingers.

Life is made up of hands. Hands that hold and fingers that feed, even palms that slap and fists that punch.

On a cold January morning, I woke with a jump. Eyes wide and eyebrows raised, I bounced out of bed, a toothless smile plastered on my face. It was my birthday. It was not only my birthday, it was my fifth birthday. My little feet picked up their pace as I bounded down the stairs. I collided into my mother who proceeded to hug and kiss me, and then sing a horrible rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Outside was my father. He was working on one of his many family projects that would end up uncompleted in a haphazard tangle of bolts and screws and wood in the backyard. His hands were always calloused from his work. I dashed outside as fast as my small legs would carry me. He turned quickly at the sound of my footsteps, a smile overcoming his face as he crouched down to one knee. His arms were open and warm as I leapt into them and he swung me around.

“Happy birthday!” He said, enthusiastically. I could feel his big, stubby fingers combing through my hair.

Then he held up a hand, a hand much larger than my own, and counted the five digits on it. “Jamie, you’re a whole hand!”

And on my tenth birthday, I was two hands. On my fifteenth, I was three—or, two hands and a foot. All of my life has been the counting of fingers and hands as I grow older each year.

It is human nature to fear the future, as people fear death and the dark. We all fear the unknown-- we fear what we do not know or understand. But there is nothing scary about hands. We know hands. Hands are what brought us into this world, into the open arms of doctors and nurses. Hands are what we will leave with, a loved one’s gentle grip on a motionless hand. Each year of my life is just another finger added-- each finger shows experience, each hand shows wisdom.

In the end, we all grow up and we all grow old. Not everything ends up the way it is supposed to or the way people plan. Sometimes things go wrong and there is nothing to be done about it. However, you can choose how you react to it. Circumstances may change and life can become convoluted, but what counts is not what happens to you—it is what you do about it. Each person can decide how good or bad each finger turns out to be. Each person can determine the outcome of his or her own life-- if they decide to.

I have decided to let my hands wrinkle with my experience and to let them become calloused with my hard work. I have decided to look at my life without fear.

After all, life is only a bunch of hands—and what is so scary about that?

Cover Image Credit: firedepartment.org

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
8508
views

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Word of Advice: Treasure The People and Places That Feel Like Home

Norfolk is somewhere I always look forward to visiting, no matter what time of year. It is one of a few places where I can truly relax.

965
views

My family and I have been vacationing in Norfolk, Virginia for almost a week. I have been going to our house there ever since I was young. Norfolk is one of a few places where I can truly relax. I don't have to worry about school, jobs, appointments, or social obligations. My family and I try to make it to Virginia at least twice a year: once at Christmas and once during the summer. This year, due to my sister's knee surgery, we couldn't spend Christmas in Virginia so we decided to go for spring break instead. I am so happy we did.

Virginia is the place where my mom grew up. In fact, we bought her childhood home from my grandparents and stay there every time we visit. My mom's high school bedroom is now my bedroom. The yearbooks and photographs are all still neatly stacked on the bookshelf, and her art portfolio is wrapped in plastic underneath my bed. The windows are old and rattle when a storm hits. At night, you can hear the tug boats bringing the ships in at Lambert's Point. During the day, the birdsong is happy and you can see the whole West Ghent neighborhood walking their dogs or running on the Elizabeth River trail.

Norfolk is a beautiful part of the world. Our neighborhood in particular is an especially wonderful place to grow up. My mom spent her high school years here after moving around frequently due to my grandfather's career in the Navy. My grandmother built her small business in Norfolk: Rowena's Jam and Jelly Factory, which soon became Virginia-famous. We still visit with my mom's high school friends who all live in the area. We go to Smartmouth Brewery on Orapax Street and drive to Taste Unlimited for the best sandwiches you'll ever have.


Virginia BeachGrace Bellman

There is a lot of history in Tidewater. Even better, there is a lot of family history in Tidewater. If I have learned anything from coming to this area my entire life, it is the importance of maintaining a connection with your roots, with home. I, like my mother, moved around a lot as a child due to my father's job. If I wanted to, I could easily claim to have three or more "hometowns." But it is much easier to just say my most recent home: Dallas. I know deep down that London, Hong Kong, and Norfolk, Virginia mean just as much to me as my home in Texas.

Traveling home is so special. You are surrounded by people who have watched you mature and develop. They have witnessed all your weird and awkward stages, your not-so-graceful moments, and your most impressive achievements. Some of my favorite memories are with family and friends in our backyard in Norfolk on late summer evenings. The mosquitoes are annoying and the humidity is a little brutal but the childhood stories and laugh-until-you-cry tales are worth it.

The Elizabeth River TrailGrace Bellman

As a college student, I have found balancing my connections with home and making friendships at school challenging. I love all the people I have met at college and I know that I have found some future bridesmaids in my sorority sisters, brothers in my guy friends, and mentors in those older than me. But there will always be that tug home, whether that home is London, Hong Kong, Dallas, or Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

Right now, I am spending the week in Virginia. I am trying my best to live in the present and worry less about the future. We have walked along the trail at First Landing State Park, dipped our toes in the ice cold ocean at Virginia Beach, and eaten over half of my grandfather's almond pound cake in just two days. I feel blessed to have a place like this. Norfolk is somewhere I always look forward to visiting, no matter what time of year. Wherever it might be, I think everyone has their own form of Virginia. And it doesn't have to be a place. It could be home in the form of a house, person, or memory. Whatever it might be, I urge you to treasure it. Keep that connection strong and present no matter where your current circumstance takes you. I feel so fortunate that Norfolk will always be that place for me.

Related Content

Facebook Comments