Scroll down to the video at the bottom of this post now, please. Look at the hands clapping, the hands holding the violin, the hands playing the piano. What do they all have in common?
They are human hands. Hands capable of creating, guiding, helping. Hands capable of caressing, kneading, supporting. Hands that reach out, sometimes to other human beings. Hands that build. Perhaps bridges, you could say. These are human hands, similar in appearance and functionality to the ones I am using now to type up this post. Yes, you could say that they differ, these hands in the clip and your hands, and mine. Because some are bigger whereas others are smaller. Some are lighter-skinned whilst some are of a darker blue. Some have pencil-thin fingers. Others boast short, fat digits. But, despite the differences these hands are human. Human hands that are capable of loving.
They are also capable of hating.
They can hold a gun, these hands. They can hold a ballot paper that will seal a nation’s fate, a knife (with murderous intentions) or a baseball bat on an unlit road. And even if the decision to use our hands comes ultimately from our brain, that final command to act, you could say, it is our hands that carry out the deed. The same hands you saw earlier in that clip caressing the black-and-whites.
We are responsible for what we do with our hands. We are accountable, first to ourselves as adults, then to society, for how we use our hands. Barring pathology, we should be perfectly capable of making rational decisions that benefit us and our fellow human beings. When we do not, we should not make excuses and seek refuge in amendments from bygone eras, abstract nouns like politics or easy scapegoats like immigrants. We are individuals, indeed, but that does not mean imposing an individualistic way of life on others.
Hatred is winning. Along with its close relative, fear. We are using our hands more and more to elicit tears of sorrow than joy. The hands guiding the orchestra in the clip are losing to the ones pulling the trigger outside an MP’s surgery. We have ditched the conditional “if” for the more practical and terrifying “when” in statements. We are getting used, like it or not, to hatred and fear.
I am not. A South African opera singer performing a song in Latin to the score of a dead German composer, led by a Dutch violinist in a Brazilian city is the world I want to live in. I do not want to live in a world where a four-year-old asks his father to teach him how to fire a gun because he witnessed daddy killing a robber at the barber’s. I do not want to live in a world in which daddy says that he will teach his son in due course, obviously, but not now. When his son turns five instead…
I do not get to decide how the world shapes up. Nor would I like to, in all honesty. I am not into prescriptive measures. I would rather we, of our own accord, used our hands to bring out the best in our fellow humans, as Kimmy and André do in the clip. After all it is better to cry of joy than to cry over yet another life lost to hatred. Look at those hands clapping, playing, directing. Look at your own now, capable of creating, kneading, helping. Building, too. Bridges, you say? Yes, bridges. They are also capable of loving. And we need a lot of love today. Please, let us use them for that purpose.
Next Post: “Saturday Evenings: Stay In, Sit Up and Switch On”, to be published on Saturday 2nd July at 6pm (GMT)
VERY VERY well-said, CiL...wow this is a post so powerful...that it brought tears to my eyes.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is all down to us...each and every one of us...
So well written, CIL.ReplyDelete
There is so much power in hands and so many choices in how to use that power.
Really well said and much needed, too! While some use their power to help and encourage people, others choose it to destroy and harm.ReplyDelete
I like your post and music too :)))ReplyDelete
Hatred and threats have never changed my mind or my heart. Loving kindness? Yes.ReplyDelete
I am in (conservatively speaking) 1000000 per cent agreement with your post.
There are striving loving wonderful people like you everywhere. Hate is not winning. Lots is coming to a head. By holding our better nature snd refusing to despair, we accomplish more than we each know. Until changes occur "over night." Best Wishes <3ReplyDelete
Very true, our hands can make or break. We have to hand off the fear and hate and bring more happiness nearReplyDelete
This is written so well, and I couldn't agree with you more. I hope you're having a terrific weekend.ReplyDelete
That is a very powerful post! I never thought about this parallel - hands and our accountability. It's interesting idea and I like it very much. It's so easy to hate because when you hate you give yourself a right being superior. Illusional right, of course, but some don't care. Yes, it's easy for hatred to win because along with hatred there is always fear. You are right about it.ReplyDelete
Thanks a lot for stopping by. And I enjoyed very much this post.
Thanks for being a positive voice on the Internet, encouraging us to live up to our potential instead of in fear and hateReplyDelete
Beautiful, beautiful post, Cuban. I am so grateful to know you here.ReplyDelete
What you have written here, CiL, is extremely well done and brilliantly expressed, and it is, in a manner of speaking, a magnum opus of a post. But, to borrow from a well-worn cliché, it also is preaching to the choir. As an agnostic to an atheist, if you will forgive a bit of religious expression, if you truly believe what you preach, you must leave the pulpit and become a missionary among the heathens -- if you catch my drift ....ReplyDelete
Agreed! We are responsible for how we shape the world and how we leave it for coming generations. Let us make sure love wins!ReplyDelete
I worry about the way things are going with the human race. I started to write a similar post and will probably finish it at some future date, But your piece says it all. Thank you.ReplyDelete
excellent post, if only we all could focus on what we have in common instead of our differences....ReplyDelete
Like all of your posts, beautifully expressed.ReplyDelete
A pretty crazy day and time; and you have indirectly (and directly) captured a great deal. Hope all okay with you. k.ReplyDelete
I liked the first two paragraphs. I think people should use their hands wisely for good things.ReplyDelete
You said it so well.ReplyDelete
Has sabido reflejar la situación actual con mucha delicadeza y sabiduría, espero que las manos de los dirigentes estén llenas de justicia, sin odio y que todo sea para el bien esperado.ReplyDelete
Brilliant post. And I'm sorry to say that you are quite right. Hatred is winning; hatred is galloping over logic and empathy and making this world a much harsher place. We can do so much with our hands, but first we have to use our brains.ReplyDelete
Very well said... the world is quite sad and confused... we need more good things, like this wonderful music...ReplyDelete
A beautiful reflection...I am moved by the power of our hands, to love and sow hate.ReplyDelete
A beautiful and wise post...However, we need to use our hands to put right some very human problems if we are to banish the twins of fear and hate. Best to you!ReplyDelete
This is a great post which does not spell out what I think you are really referring to. Very wise!ReplyDelete
You posted this days earlier, but your sage words are helping me process the horrific news, this morning after the Istanbul attack. Scota's voice is soothing too. When will this senseless violence stop?ReplyDelete
Thank you for this wonderful encouragement to use our hands to spread love, not hatred, fear and division. Wonderfully expressed.ReplyDelete
I love your message. How will a father teach a five yr old to shoot? And why? No words to express what I feel.ReplyDelete
Your post is beautifully written. I agree with you 100%, except for the part about hate and fear winning. I don't think that's the case. I believe loving kindness will win out in the end. The haters are louder, but love is quiet and steady.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful weekend.