Human Hands

I hear so often that human beings are at the apex of living creatures on the earth because of their amazing brains that allow them to solve problems and create. I believe that is an accurate judgment, but it leaves aside an important adjunct: our hands allow us make miracles.

None of us stop to think about all the jobs our hands do for us every waking minute of every hour of every day. It is my hands that type the text you now see before you. My hands got me out of bed this morning, washed my face, combed my hair, heated my coffee, got the newspaper is, and held it while my eyes read it. My hands later in the day will bathe my body, brush my teeth, shave my beard, dress my body with clothes, play the piano, cook my food, hold my book while I read, hold the steering wheel while I drive, do any and all necessary writing. Only when my hands are damaged or too dirty to use do I get even a hint of necessary they are.

It is true that we humans share manual dexterity with the most advanced mammals—apes and monkeys. It is equally true that what sets us above those creatures is our brains. So, in the end, it is our brains that allow us to rule the earth.

But we wouldn’t be able to rule very well without the use of our hands.

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