Helping Hands

July 27, 2011
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We all sweat. But how many of us sweat on our hands? I am not talking about the clamminess of your hands on that first date or even the slight perspiration forming on your palms from wearing thick woolen gloves in the winter. Rather, I am referring to the type of person for whom, a towel to wipe his/her hands dry during SAT testing is just as important as a number 2 pencil and photo ID.
Since a young age, I have constantly been aware that my sweaty hands separated me from others. Over the course of many years and many awkward handshakes, my sweaty hands became the target of bullying.
Ironically enough, at church, a supposed sanctuary for the unwanted and the downtrodden, I faced the harshest persecution. Often, my friends greeted me as “Aqua Man” and dared one another to touch my hands. After quickly poking my hand with his index finger, my friend coiled back and pretended to writhe in pain. Usually, I laughed along and jokingly threatened to “soak” them with my superpowers. On the inside, however, I felt disgusted with who I was and asked myself: ‘Why can’t I just be normal?’ In my head, my sweaty hands made known their presence like the wailing sirens and the flashing lights of a fire truck on a dark night.
Even the pastors at church seemed to conspire to draw attention to my shameful hands. Just this past Sunday, after the sermon and songs of worship, the congregation broke into smaller groups for bible study. Instead of a time to delve into the holy text, bible study served as a time when I could mess around with my buddies at the expense of our badgered teacher. In each bible study, however, I could never remain fully relaxed. As bible study drew to an end, I anxiously rubbed my hands along my jeans to wipe off the sweat already appearing. As innocuous as it may sound, I feared the closing prayer of bible study. I feared that the teacher would, in a sudden burst of inspiration, order us to hold hands and pray as an act of religious fellowship. As I waited in suspense for the teacher’s decision on closing prayer, past memories of classmates’ laughing jeers tortured my mind.
The bullying I endured was not the classic situation so often featured in movies, in which a larger and more intimidating boy picks on a weaker one and asks for lunch money. My bullying originated from a small difference and shockingly came from my friends. Everyday, through even the smallest hurtful word or gesture, one can bully another person by putting him/her down. Attention to our words and actions can greatly ameliorate the bullying problem we so often read about and see in today’s world. As a result of the bullying I faced, I endeavor each day to find the best in others, to elevate them and make them feel good with helping albeit sweaty hands.

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lifeisbeautiful..<3 said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 3:55 am
daniel, you're not alone. i have sweaty hands too. :/  my feet are the same way. i avoid physical contact with people because it's embaressing when they notice my hands. my advice to you is, don't let words put you down. just know there's others out there like you.
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