Bud's Rantings

The Boy with the Tiny Hands

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Something fundamental is happening. Have you noticed? Things are changing fast. Children are becoming billionaires overnight. Their fingers monetize everything new. Nothing’s safe. Irrelevance stalks our generation.  

Tiny hands are at work, at play, at war. Minds are being colonized by apps, digits and pixels. Communication is instantaneous. Societies are in peril of disruption, of overnight obsolescence. Status quo hobbles into the ICU on crutches.

Earlier this week we babysat our niece’s two children. For those with young children, mechanical hand-held gadgets that glow and capture imagination are commonplace. But we were astonished by the dexterity and speed of their tiny fingers.  God only knows the speed of their brains.

I sat with Trey, age 7, watching his tiny hands move mountains, build cities, map brains, explore planets and, yes, murder en masse jihadist extremists. The X-box disc, The Call of Duty, is indeed a savage game!

Children are fascinated with war games. Best we could muster as children were back-yard skirmishes with dirt forts, bulwarks and towers built with our hands. We’d outflank our enemies with a few rubber soldiers, a couple of plastic tanks and make mouth noises, tat-tat-tat-tat, that sounded like machine guns. Shooting was different with us. ‘Keepers’ with marbles were the only zero-sum game we played.

 Today, tiny hands avoid dirt under their nails, or skinned knees. They don’t go barefoot, fly kites, jump rope, race bikes or skates. They play inside, get obese or worse, and expect instant gratification, which was never a real-world concept…until now.

Today, new world systems and boundaries are emerging. Archeological digs overflow with the compost of castoff civilizations. They’ve been entombed in the dung hills of history. Methane seeps from their final gasps at life.

The Green Movement oligarchs ransack through the junkyards of the past. They recycle the societal remnants and reap fortunes from IPO’s. Cultural carcasses reside in the rust bins of elite universities. They’re cadavers preserved for dissection, chronicled for future instruction in the failed public policies of the past. 

Tiny hands dwell in the realm of digital ether. Personal relationships are virtual, vacuous and sometimes viral. They lack the meaning that face-time encounters furnish. They create unmapped universes whose future is yet unwritten. The language in the machine talks to them because they’re writing it. Their fingers do the talking. Tongues are unessential.

I look at my hands. Soft flesh. The hands of a writer of contracts, of stories; a musician, a gym man. No stubby nails.  No grease stains. Scant evidence remains of ancient blisters from a childhood of farm work. The calloused palms come now from dumbbells. Tractors and lawn mowers operate by GPS. Drones plant crops and drop bombs. Cars park themselves. Work is outsourced. American economic Colonialism thrives.    

It’s said that hands can reveal a lot about a person’s life. Perhaps. If so, then what might they prophesy about the life of today’s tiny hands? Scary.

Take a look at your hands. Gypsies contend the lines in one’s palms reveal destiny. Mystics say destiny is in fate, not palms. However, it’s an indisputable fact…destiny can still shaped by the work of our hands.

The tiny hands of today are unveiling an unfamiliar world. A landscape where surgery is done by robotics, where destruction can rain from the sky by an index finger on a tiny remote in Nevada.

My mind fast forwards to a world of robots. I see myself soon making an appointment with one for a bank loan. My life is exposed, evaluated, scored and a verdict rendered…Yes or No, all in a matter of seconds. The good-old-boy regime is history. Everyone’s equal.

Cat Stevens’ wrote the words of this song:

Oh very young

What will you leave us this time?

You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while.

Oh very young

What will you leave us this time?

The boy with tiny hands…will they become bloody or benign? A greater question falls to us: Will our hands help him make that choice?

____________
Editor's Note:  Visit Bud's blog and enjoy his vast collection of musings at theweaklypost.com.  He can also be reached by email at BudHearn@mindspring.com.  
 

Bud is a farm-boy, raised in a farming community is SW Georgia. Farm experiences continue to give him particular insights into life. He attended the University of Georgia, graduating with a BBA-Real Estate with a minor in English. He was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. He moved to Atlanta in 1964 where for 50 years he has had a career in land and other real estate investments.

Bud moved to Sea Island, Georgia in 2004, where he now resides and where he continues in the real estate investment business.

His varied interests include long-distance running (and other athletic endeavors); travel; musical pursuits, including piano, violin and banjo; and writing. Writing has always been a passion. As Bud says, “Sometimes I feel like a short dog in tall grass when comparing my written thoughts to those in the literary Hall of Fame. But then, I remember that life is like a dog that buries bones in the sands on a one-way ticket to Mecca…vanity of vanities. So, I write, leaving some of my bones in the sands of time as I move on.” You can find more of his writings on his website, www.theweaklypost.com.

He can be reached at budhearn@mindspring.com.

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