Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

For a time in my life I wore a WWJD bracelet on my wrist. For those not in the know, it stands for what would Jesus do. I wholly believed all actions should be put through the what would Jesus do rigors before being set in motion.

My first fight I think I cried harder than the kid I punched in the face. He never hit me back, just sat there on his ass with a bloody nose and a look of complete shock. I was a mess of fear. Jesus wouldn’t punch someone in the face. He would continue to turn the other cheek, even after the strawberries he had spent so many months cultivating were destroyed. He would turn another cheek even after being put in a cardboard box that was then flipped and kicked. Jesus would pray for the boy in the hopes he realized the torment and pain he was causing.

I never understood why that boy hated me. It is usually really easy to hate those that don’t have much of anything in the world. I was the boy who lived in a dilapidated apartment, even by project housing standards. I lived in the apartment where a utility cord ran from our neighbors to us because it had been God knows how long since we had electricity. I was the kid who went smiling and singing the gospel of the good lord to anyone willing to listen, even though clearly the lord hadn’t visited this part of town. The part of town where your kids could play in parking lots covered with broken glass.

“But that’s not what Jesus would do!”

My first response when I was told to hit the kid who hated me for no reason other than I existed. Jesus wouldn’t hit him and neither will I. I could make him my friend, I just knew it!

I don’t know what happened that day. The day I decided to step away from what Jesus would do. A reckoning was upon us on the day I decided to step from the path of turning the other cheek and deal out sweet righteousness.

I swung. I connected. I cried.

It felt great.

That moment when my right hand connected with his face will go down as a moment in time that still sends an excited chill up my spine. I took control out of the hands of Our Father and handed out sweet, sweet, justice. It was my deliverance.

After crying my way home eventually I calmed down enough to feel it. The adrenaline that pulsed through my veins. I couldn’t even feel my swollen hand. As we marched over to the boys apartment so white trash parents could sort out white trash problems the adrenaline had me walking on sunshine. 

His mom and my mom squabbled back and forth before settling things however grownups settle things. I stared down my once oppressor. I stared and smiled as he shrunk in the corner with his wide eyes and toilet paper stuffed nose. He no longer wanted to kick the shit out of me as I sat naively in a box. He wanted to run, be anywhere but the room he was in. And why? Because I had punched him in his mouth and taken control. His eyes were wide with fear. Of me.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

That wasn’t the last thrill of violence in my life. I didn’t hang up the gloves and walk away. I didn’t feel guilt when in the third grade I hit Evan in the face with a rock. The thrill existed when I slammed Mike’s head against the floor.

All justified. All justice.

I can’t lie, I look back and revel sometimes. A past of fights and brawls where I came out roughed up but not the roughest. There will always be a part of me that holds and yearns for the thrill of settling a dispute with pure savage violence.

That part, the beast that controlled me for most of my life lies in dormant chains. My broken hands, hurt everyday, They hurt from punching people or walls or whatever was in front of me when I was angry. I run my tongue over my lips to feel the scars from split lips. The Popcorn Brawl. Split both my upper and lower lip open that night. Scars and stories are what remains of the past.

These hands have inflicted so much fucking pain on the world.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

“No, we don’t hit son”

I repeat these words to my two-year old. If he only knew how addicting hitting is.

If he only knew the family motto, “When in doubt, knock em out”

I sit there and hold my six month old, marveling at how quickly he has grown. I worry he has the beast in him that is only sated with violence.

I sit there with my family, hoping that each day I control the blood lust and erase a little bit of the old family motto.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

I repeat them, over and over, to my kids.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.

I take these words and say them to my sons, in hopes that over time I begin to believe them too.


“Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another. “

Originally found these words and inspiration in this beautiful essay here. Thank you, Misfit, for inspiring this post. 

 

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18 comments on “Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.
  1. I’m sitting crying over these words. The story, the past rolled into this one post. this is a story told through storytelling eyes. ❤️

  2. I would say, your’e the male version of me.
    Only, I’M the male version of me.

    When we come from violence, how do we teach our children that it’s wrong?

  3. Wow, Briton! This is powerful and obviously right from the heart. What a beautiful mantra to repeat to your children and to yourself. We all need those reminders. The lessons we learn as parents are invaluable; this is the time when we learn more about ourselves than any other. Through our children’s eyes. 🙂 I am going to remember that mantra, always! 🙂
    brickhousechick recently posted…Where Is The Brick House?My Profile

  4. Kids change us, make us different, make you want to teach them a better way. Your hands are kind and one of the best things they do is type so you can share and make a difference with your writing. Great Job Punk.

  5. Oh my. What an emotional read.

    Children change us. We want better for our children.

    “Our hands are for good things. Our hands are for kindness. Our hands should never hurt another.“

    These words will echo in my mind and heart. Beautiful.

  6. Pingback: Wake For Young Souls -

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