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The Hand That Rocks The Cradle is The Hand That Rules The World

April 22, 2016

Our hands are what make us human. No other creature has hands that can do what ours can, and this is what has ensured our long survival. Our hands are so important to us that they have become embedded in our speech, sometimes in the funniest ways. There are literally handfuls of well-known phrases and sayings that use our hands in a symbolic way.

‘The Hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world’ sounds terrifying but is actually in praise of motherhood as a power that can change the world. The saying comes from a poem written by William Ross Wallace in 1865, ‘What rules the world’, and has become globally used, albeit in a slightly threatening, ‘don’t mess with mothers kind of way. Anyone who has seen the psychological thriller staring Rebecca de Mornay named after this will shudder every time they hear it remembering the horror of the murderous nanny and how she nearly destroys a happy home.

Other rather sinister idioms include ‘the devil finds work for idle hands’, meaning not having enough to do can lead a person into trouble and ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove’, which conjures up beautiful imagery and is used to describe someone whose gentle appearance belies a steely, determined soul.

‘To be caught red-handed’ means to be caught in the act of doing something wrong. This originates from an old English law that ordered any person to be punished for butchering an animal that wasn’t his/her own. The only way the person could be convicted is if they were caught with the animals blood still on their hands!

Red Handed copy

‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ an old favourite which can be traced back to Near Eastern origin as far back as the 6th century. It has a similar meaning to ‘the grass is always greener’, another much-loved idiom, implying that it is better to make the most of what you have than what may never come about. That one leaves a lot to think about.

‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ has a powerful message about showing gratitude to those who have helped you and is a warning that people are quick to turn and change allegiance when it suits them.

‘Cold hands, warm heart’ suggests that people with a cool exterior conceal a warm heart and we shouldn’t judge others by their appearance, but scientists at Yale have proven the opposite of this to be true. Just holding a warm mug of tea in your hands makes you feel kinder and more compassionate to others. Scientists believe this could be attributed to the connection between warmth and feeling good we learn as children, when a mother’s warm hands make us feel better about ourselves and others. Such is the power of our hands.

cold hands

Knowing how important our hands are in every aspect of our lives and even in the peculiar things we say, is all the mor reason to take care of them. If you have never used hand cream, let now be the time you start.

With SEAMS you are literally in safe hands.

Karen J Gerrard




You Can Tell A Lot About A Woman By Her Hands Let Handwriting Have The last Word
You Can Tell A Lot About A Woman By Her Hands
Let Handwriting Have The last Word

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