A manual miracle, that most find hard to do

Columnist Peter Leith invites you to truly discover – and appreciate – this handy tool.

A manual miracle, that most find hard to do

YourLifeChoices’ 91-year-old columnist Peter Leith is always thinking, and agitating, and exploring. He invites you to do this simple exercise, but says most people won’t.


Sit opposite a friend at a table or bench, with your elbows on the table. Place your left hand, palm up, open and totally relaxed on the surface between you ... and then try to forget that it’s there.

With the fingers and thumb of your right hand, start to explore the upturned palm and fingers of the left hand of the person sitting opposite.

Feel each bone and joint of each finger and the thumb.

You will find there are four bones in each finger and three in the thumb. One joint of each finger and thumb is ‘buried’ in the meat of the palm of the hand. Nineteen bones in total.

There are, I believe, another 18 small bones of varying shapes and sizes buried in the mass of nerves, sinews, tendons and blood vessels that make up the palms of our hands.

Try to ‘feel’ for them.

While you’re about it, you might like to give some thought to the fact that you are exploring the most versatile tool on the planet today. It performs a huge range of movements, hundreds of times each day, without conscious thought from us ... and without a single electronic sensor or smartphone app required.

I’ve found that very few people are able to complete this exercise. Why?

Would you be comfortable exploring the hand of a person sitting opposite you? And having them do the same with your hand? If not, why not?

Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    22nd Nov 2020
    More importantly why would you feel the need or desire to do this......weird!
    22nd Nov 2020
    Mootnell, I agree, why would you!
    Unless you are lovers it would feel as though the person was invading your space - not something that, I personally, would feel comfortable with.
    On the Ball
    22nd Nov 2020
    ...And that's the point.
    Would you?

    And why not? What sort of customary boundaries would one be crossing?
    In some countries its custom to rub noses.
    Discounting, of course, the necessity of personal space (from a covid point of view).
    22nd Nov 2020
    don't complete it? Why? Because it is so boring?
    23rd Nov 2020
    Why would anyone want to do this anyway?
    I can understand why the majority of us find this repulsive
    Has Covid19 and Lockdowns cause us to want to invade someone else's personal space?
    You may think what you like about me but as far as I'm concerned my personal space is just that....mine
    My thoughts are my own too and they will stay that way too

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