One coming from outer space on examining the lives of human beings would have to say that our hands have contributed most to the development of humanity, more significantly than speech itself.
It is through our hands that our brains have translated thought into the artifacts that have laid the ground work to our continued collective progress. Yet those who work with their hands are the least rewarded among us.
We tend to want to reward those who seem to be “doing things with their brains,” those who especially manipulate the financial rewards of those who work primarily with their hands. The money changers are the ones who reap the greatest reward. But this is an aside.
The most recent of our greatest universally used inventions is operated with our hands. Believe it or not, we could not operate our computers without the use of our hands.
Our hands carry thought to where others see and deal with it through this new technology. I'll just mention that even the computer components are made by hand, to make a quick point.
Long before computers and typewriters, their was the pen. And it was through the use of pen and similar hand writing instruments that most human thought has been recorded. Even the bible was written by hand. Then came print, and even that, at first set by hand.
Some creatures, quite similar to us, have what we may call hands, but their hands, even if they could be controlled by human-like brains could not convert thought into sculptures, paintings, music, architecture and great works of writing.
The human hand, like the human voice have both evolved so that they can translate the thoughts of the human brain either into some form of writing or into sound that make it possible for us to communicate, to create and organize. Hand and voice form the words, the basic means of communication.
But it is the hand more than the vocal cords that creates most of substantial elements of our cultures.
It is the hand that helps us do the most mundane things. In the morning, I start by picking up the paper and then unfolding it, make my coffee, first by measuring it out, holding a spoon, spoons were once made by hand, then I sit down at the computer to write.
Later I clean the dishes, shave and put on some clothes. Brain and hands in partnership help me to sketch those pieces of public art that I would form out of clay, with my hands, if I had the time
So this morning, I'm paying homage to what really makes us human, our hands.
"I'll drink to that." With which hand your left or your right hand?