This I Believe

Brian - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on October 23, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

For many people the little finger, commonly known as the pinky, is seen as having no significance. It is just another finger that people feel they never have to use and forget its importance. For that I am debating back. I believe in gaining back the true value of the pinky.

The index finger and thumb are the two which seem to have the most importance; the index finger is mainly known for pointing, and the thumb is used to grab things. An opposing thumb differentiates humans from most other animals and puts us under the classification of primates. How can the finger farthest away from the thumb then have the greatest importance?

The first thing that comes to mind relating to the pinky is a pinky promise. Two people create a powerful bond by simply wrapping one of their pinky fingers around the other person’s pinky. It can bring two people closer together, or break them apart. In other areas in the world, such as India, holding up the pinky is a signal that the person has to urinate. In China, if one holds up a little finger at another, it is considered as vulgar as holding up a middle finger in the United States. This brings up another question—what would be the “middle finger” if there was no pinky? Also in Japan, holding up a pinky while speaking of two people signifies that they are in a relationship. In Turkey, it’s tradition to link pinky fingers when two people are making a bet. In Judaism, it is customary to extend one’s arm and pinky finger to the Torah as it is lifted following its reading in the Synagogue.

The pinky has worked its way into our daily customs. In many cases, the things we use everyday evolve around the concept of having a pinky, such as a keyboard and the essential pushing down of the shift or enter keys. The piano is another prime example. Human gestures are also connected to the pinky. Hand symbols, such as for symbolizing telephone, involve the use of a pinky. The pinky may even be useful in mathematics. One can use their fingers to calculate the multiples of nine.

Do not be fooled by its size either. Because of its relatively small size compared to the other fingers, the pinky can slip into certain places. Have something in your teeth and do not have a toothpick, then simply use the next best thing that is available, your pinky.

That is why I believe one should not look over the little things in life, including the little finger.