This I Believe

Brittany - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 21, 2007

When someone looks at their hands, what do they see? Hopefully more than just this thing connected to your wrist: five fingers, knuckles, and fingernails. One should see incredible force. A powder keg.

I believe in the power of human hands. They influence my life daily and help to shape my world.

At times, I feel the firm press of a friend’s hands coax tension from my back. At other times, understanding hands soothe my anxious heart with a simple touch. On yet another occasion, feeling his fingers slip gently through my own took my breath away.

My world is also molded by the hands of people that I have never met. At a concert, my senses are dazzled at the command of the conductor’s hand. The hands in the symphony create movement of the body and mind, with every gentle caress of a hand on an instrument. I saw life in a new perspective when, from a distance, I saw Hilary Hahn’s hands dance gracefully along her violin, performing the Sibelius violin concerto. Later, I had the rare opportunity to meet and shake those incredible hands. The author’s hand has penned innumerable works that have spurred me to tears. Laughter. Anger. Pensive thought. Generally, I have never met these hands. Nor am I likely to. But unknown hands continue to shape and mold the clay of my existence.

However, my world is also shaped by the peril that human hands can create. Irrationality may let these hands loose in violence in any of its forms, harming others physically and emotionally. Human hands can lift powerful drugs to human lips, unleashing erratic behavior. All these actions end up affecting the people around these hands, many of which played no part in creating the danger or consequences. Like me. I, too, am at the mercy of the actions of human hands.

Likewise, simple hand gestures can incite instant anger and retaliation. . . Yet the movement of human hands is a language all its own for the deaf child. Hands become ears, voice and understanding.

I have come to wonder what power rests within my own human hands. If the music I draw from my instrument can influence a life. If the words I write with my hands can somehow make a difference. If a touch from my hand can calm a tormented soul.

I believe it can. Because I believe in the power of human hands. My hands.