More Than Just Hands

Natalie - Escondido, California
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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More Than Just Hands

While eating dinner at a prestigious restaurant, I noticed my mother fidgeting with her hands under the table. Discerning my curious facial expression, she quickly responded in a self-conscious tone, “I completely forgot to put lotion on. I don’t even want to show my hands.” My mother’s history of cleaning houses is visibly exposed through her ashy and wrinkled hands. With sympathy toward her concerns I responded, “Don’t be embarrassed. Your hands are the hands of a woman who has worked hard her entire life.” At that moment my mother’s hands stood out as a representation of someone who has physically struggled and fought to survive, a representation of someone who has suffered through backbreaking labor. My mom’s withered but sturdy hands represent who she is and the challenges she has gone through.

Looking down at my own hands, with not a scratch to complain about, I felt I should be the one embarrassed. The toilsome work of my mother only made my placid lifestyle more obvious. Just like my mom’s hands, my hands have a story to tell about whom I am and what I do. My hands reflect my personality. My hands reveal the person I dedicate myself to being. I believe that hands are a direct and basic representation of individuality.

Unlike my mother, I do not have a single scar on either of my hands. They are as smooth and well preserved as can be. This is due to my weakness in athleticism and my fear of taking part in risky activities. My preference lies in the leisure of placid diversion. The rush and challenge that athletes feel when playing sports is what I feel when I draw. The ability to be precise and to have stabilized control over my hands is what I have accomplished in order to establish this passion of mine. Although my hands do not have the ability to catch a victory pass in football, my hands are capable enough to create such a vivid image on paper.

My hands are objects of my creative mind. I adorn and personalize all of my belongings, my hands being one of them. I add excitement to my life by painting my nails with crazy colors and unpredictable designs. Every new pattern satisfies my need for change; a new combination of bright colors expresses the liveliness of my emotions. I do not like to blend in and fit into what everybody else does. Decorating my hands so that they do not look like anybody else’s demonstrates my belief in individuality.

Most importantly, my hands are the multi-functioning hands of a student. They have not been damaged by chemicals like my mother’s. My hands have not been exposed to dangerous conditions, causing them to age with unnatural rapidity. With the joined force of my signaling brain, my hands have adapted to typing and writing papers. I am able to work a calculator with the rapid movement of a couple of fingers. This ability is easily taken for granted by many, but in my perspective, is significantly valued through my belief.

By means of careful observation, I have concluded that my hands are the simplest version of my personality at its entirety. They may not reveal such qualities that make my mother the wonderful person she is, but they reveal the qualities that make me unique as an individual. A simple belief in the meaning of hands carries valuable and revealing messages.