Sunday, April 01, 2007

Make a fist. Are you ready to protect your home or your honor? Do you sense a change in yourself as your fingers curl and tighten into a hard object, useful for striking, hammering and nothing more? Now, extend your hand open and outward, palm upwards. Do you feel as if you might receive a gift? There are energies flowing in the hands that some are sensitive to and that some are not. The Chinese call these energies Chi and the energies and what we choose to do with them defines us as human beings.

Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, wrote a book called Fist Stick Knife Gun. about the way these objects impact our relationship to ourselves, our communities, and lead the tragic escalation of violence in America. Canada's book is relevant to the earlier discussion of the impact of our choice of tools on our essential human qualities.

Can you see how our choice of tools may define us? This is a complex subject that enters into the essence of our humanity. There are tools that scream of expedience, and even anger, that leave tragic markings. They may be large tools with no sensitivity to the earth or the wild and precious things that the thoughtful gardener, armed only with a trowel would notice, cherish and preserve. There are tools that deliver violence whether on purpose or by grave mistake. The wisdom of the hands calls us to take notice and make choices. Through very simple choices, we, through the use of our hands re-create ourselves for greater purpose.

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