Last night I was struggling to extract refried beans from a can, and cut myself pretty badly. Somehow I managed to cut the middle knuckle of my ring finger.
I discovered something interesting about my ring finger. I always thought it was just a kind of wimpy finger, since it's not all that dextrous on its own.I thought it was just there to take up space, to make a nice hand of five.
As it turns out, the strength of all my fingers is in my ring finger. Since I have to favor that finger, the rest of my fingers have almost no grasping or lifting strength. I can barely even use that hand.
It made me ponder. Our culture looks down on the submissive, stay-at-home wife as something of a useless wimp. She remains in the background while her husband goes out and does business with the world. He's the thumb and the forefingers.
But the wife is the support role, and to be the support role, she has to be the strong one. It takes an incredible amount of strength to pull for all the other fingers and take no applause or attention. And when that supporting finger is disabled, the strength goes out of all the others.
Isn't it interesting that the non-glamorous supporting finger is the one that gets to wear the ring of gold? Its very back-seatness becomes its position of honor.