The Other Hand

The wrist

(image courtesy of yesterday)

Yesterday I thought I broke my wrist.

All the signs were there:

The fall.

The loud crack/pop sound.

The pain.

The sweating and dizziness.

The embarrassment.

Today, I just have a sprain.

For the next few days I will be wearing a wrist brace. The brace keeps the wrist from moving and/or causing interesting pain.

As I went about my daily routine tasks this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the role my left hand plays in life. I am right-handed. So therefore, the right hand must be the more important hand, right? If you ask me, I would say with pride, “right-handed” as if it was some badge of honor.

But there is the other hand. The left hand.

Little did I know that while right hand was taking all the credit, left hand was doing a bulk of the hard work. Carrying more weight, steering the car, holding the [plate, coffee carafe, cereal bowl, milk carton and everything else], pulling out chairs, typing on the that side of the keyboard, holding my phone, and the list goes on.

I began to wonder if this hand view carries over to our world view.

There are a lot of right hands out there, beaming with pride at their role and what they can accomplish.

But there are also left hands. Who support, carry and even direct the outcomes, but with a little less flair, and perhaps in the second seat.

Maybe this injury will help recalibrate the hierarchy of hands that seems to exist, and I will begin to see them as more equal partners on the same team.



Support takes many forms. Support can be listening to a friend, or coworker. Support can be making a meal, or remembering to call. Support can be a random text that reminds another person that you are there and thinking of them.

Support is being the kind of boss that remembers that people have lives outside of work. Support is the parent that encourages, even when things are tough. Support is helping people stretch, especially when they are afraid. Support is help picking up the pieces when it goes wrong.

Lending a hand. Helping others. We all need support. We all provide support.

In the long run, support must be in balance in our lives. We are receiving support while providing support to others. Many times this balance is disrupted. Either we are receiving a disproportional share, or providing the increased support. In the short-term, this one-sided equation is acceptable. Perhaps an event required this unequal ledger (loss of a loved one, job, or relationship). Righting that balance requires us to understand the role of support in our lives.

Sometimes you find yourself in a support deficit, that place where you have been providing support without reciprocation. The support deficit can be draining, and may be a sign that you need to set some boundaries with those around you. It may signal that you need to speak up.

What support are you providing? What support are you receiving? Are you remembering to give as you receive? Is there that friend who calls, but you do not initiate calls? Call them.  Is there someone coaching you and encouraging you? Reach out to them, but not just because you have a need.

Use your own need as a measure of how you could be providing support to others.

Need encouragement? Encourage. Need a friend? Be one. Need help? Be helpful.

You can do it. Together we can change the world.