Beautiful hands are those that work PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 July 2015 11:38

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

As I was watching a movie on the cable network, it was disrupted by a commercial about “hand lotion and moisturizer” said to make beautiful soft skin and hands. It was modeled by a equally beautiful and dainty lady. Really, it awes you to see her soft and white skin on her hands and palms. But while gazing at the commercial, my memories brought me back many, many years ago, when I was still in the elementary grades. Imagine how long that was, I am now a senior citizen but the memory of  that story stayed with me until today. It has a lesson that is worth remembering and it can be a true to life guidance. It is the story of “Beautiful hands are those that work”. Here is the story....

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When I was in my second elementary grade in the muncipality of Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur, now known as the “Antonio Vera Apostol Memorial Central Elementary School” named after my father who established that school in the early 1920s, during the American colonial government in the Philippines, and who was sent by the Americans after he graduated high school in Camp John Hay, Baguio city, to establish a school in Lapuyan, a Subanen community there to join American missionaries who came a few years ahead. My Grade 2 teacher, Mr.Ponce, an Ilocano from Luzon like my father, told us to raise our hands during our 4-H Club subject on gardening. Mr. Ponce, posed a question to our class and asked: Who has beautiful hands? All of us pointed to a girl classmate, who happens to be my cousin, with dainty soft and long fingered hands because she does not do domestic chores at home. They have helpers and boys at home to do the work for their family. Instead to our surprise, Mr. Ponce, went to a classmate whose hands are rough as a sand paper, thickened with skin derivatives and as brown as the soil and whose fingernails still has residues of soil because he helps his parents in their farm. He made him stand up and I could see my classmate blushing for fear at being ridiculed. Instead our teacher honored him and raising his hands, he said “this is the real beautiful hands, because they work, they touch the soil to grow plants, they cultivate the ground with their hands so the plants will be nourished, they fetch water from the river to water their plants and above all,  they use their hands as what our creator intended it to be”. That was one unforgettable lesson in my life, said in a few sentence.

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To this day, I believe in our teacher’s wisdom that hands are made for working to survive, to eat and to do so many things that life demands. Every finger of the hands have some use, without a thumb you could not write or do some repairs, like using a knife, a hammer to bury a nail or everything big and litlle work hands are very important, every finger of the hands has some use, without them the hands are useless even if you constantly rub them with moisturizer and lotion or cologne. It is beautiful to see a working hand and you thank God for it.

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In the farm, indeed, it gives you pleasure to see hands working and tilling the farm that you may have a bountiful harvest. In the kitchen, you feel elated that hands are preparing your family’s meal so that all will be happy and contented. In times of danger, you feel secured that a hand is protecting you from any harm that is in front of you.In the offices and factories beautiful hands are giving life to those eerie chambers. Indeed, beautiful hands are those that work.

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Scoop: Surprised why almost all important decisions end by saying “let’s join hands to meet this challenge” or “let’s join hands in prayer” or “let’s join hands to support the administration” and so forth.  Joining beautiful hands makes everything move on.