“…Life is not about what you can’t do because of what you don’t have, but rather what you can and will do with what God gave you… that makes you who you are…” – Dan Holmes

 

Having been born with three very specific underdeveloped fingers on my right hand, I can only imagine what it would be like to have had both of my hands develop normally. In addition, not only did my right hand only possess just one fully developed finger and a thumb, but my fully functional middle finger has overly compensated for its underdeveloped companions.

Baby1

June 1947 – 4 months old

In addition, the specific image my right hand projects to the casual observer, is that the observer assumes that I am projecting a gesture message that in our Western society is commonly known as  the finger (as in giving someone the finger or the bird)… “Also known as the middle finger or flipping someone off, it  is understood as an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrases “f*** off” (“screw off”), “f*** you” (“screw you” or “up yours”). It is performed by showing the back of a closed fist that has only the middle finger extended upwards”. (Wikipedia)

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The middle-finger gesture, which has apparently had phallic connotations in every culture in which it has been used, is much older. We know it dates back to ancient Greece, at least, where it was referenced in “The Clouds,” a play written by Aristophanes in 423 B.C. It was also well known to the Romans, who referred to it variously as digitus infamis (“infamous finger”) and digitus impudicus (“indecent finger”). In all likelihood its origins were prehistoric.

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl-pluck-yew.htm
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 Baby2

Brothers Dave, Curt and I in the summer of 1951

Also, I’ve been told that even in sign language that this middle finger hand gesture is used to convey a message to the hearing impaired that a sign language argument is about to begin.

Regardless, the point of this discussion is that the implication of this gesture is well known, universal and equally understood in our culture.

Here’s what the fundamental issue the gesture boils down to; it’s simply just about the stigmatism people immediately associate with what they thought they saw. There’s an overabundance of negative energy associated with both the projection of this image and also the receipt of the projected image. This hand signal has been known to be the precursor to many a fight between hearing as well as deaf people alike.

Now, agreed, since the intentionally projected hand gesture is considered rude, indecent and a basic visual assault; it is also both used for that purpose and commonly understood in that manner. HOWEVER, can you imagine the experiences a person might have to manage if on the other hand where the perceived hands’ physical characteristic not as an intentional gesture but as a misinterpretation of a casual observation by the people or persons in that specific line of sight.

What if someone was born like this and had to deal with consistent misunderstandings, for a lifetime?

Dan1

July 2012

What if someone was born like this and had to deal with consistent misunderstandings, for a lifetime?

As you might imagine, having lived with my birth-hand for my entire life of over 60 years, I have encountered many circumstances of misinterpretation (known and unknown) that as a person I’ve always tried to make numerous because of the unmistakable assumption people always makes upon casual observation of my hand.

For decades I’ve always also tried to be aware of where my hand was when photographs were being taken, so as to not make my hand a focal point in the picture. Even in recent conversation with my 87+ year young mother, she told me that when she and my dad would take baby pictures that they always tried to cover up my hand from the eye of the camera. Therefore, there weren’t many pictures taken of me where my missing appendages are easily seen.

It is important for me to note here that as a person, I am a very positive person and I do NOT at all think like intentionally making this millennium old, voluntary suggestive gesture implies…!

My mental state of mind has always been the complete opposite of this kind of mind set. In fact, my hands are fully functional and have been quite useful to me over the years of my life. .. but, because of having had my birth-hand from  ‘birth’, I’ve had to improvise, adapt, overcome and then  to deal with the misunderstanding in the only way I know how and that’s with a sense of humor.

Then, when you mix an experience of misunderstanding with my dry sense of humor and the positive mindset that has dominated my reactions in dealing with the all-to-common misperception of the birth design of my hand, I found that either intentionally or unintentionally there was created both a positive reaction and a humorous experience.

My thinking formula turned negative energy into very positive energy.

This was the basis of traveling the path I’m on today in taking my physical characteristic, combined with the commonplace voluntary hand gesture and the intellectual property of my entrepreneurial imagination that all came together when I looked again at an x-ray image of my hand… and then thinking as I closely studied and thought about the image, wondering what this would look like on a t-shirt or a poster. The image would speak because of a slogan of sorts that was based on a life time of my actual true experiences. The slogan would reflect nothing negative but would all totally be focused into positive energy.

Dan2

Then, in my research, everywhere I looked and from a life time of experiences, I was never aware of any product or application that ever attempted to convert all this negative energy into something so positive…

Such it was when the seed was planted in my mind.

When I started resourcing this concept by putting this business model together it all seemed to flow out from within me. You cannot imaging the lifetime of the thinking I’ve had in wondering about the ‘why was I formed like this’ behind my bodies’ design and then wondering besides my dry sense of humor, what good can be done with what God gave me.

Then the seed in my mind began to grow, incredibly…

You cannot imagine ALL the slogans and other unique applications I have thought of after living with my hand then actually LOOKING at the X-ray of my hand with a sense of humor…

My stories and ‘slogans’ are rooted in over 60 years of experiences

It all came together on a Saturday in mid December, 2012, I was helping a friend from Church move some furniture. While moving a sofa, my right forearm was injured and it was advisable to seek medical assistance at a close by hospital.

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While there, it was decided to x-ray my forearm to check for internal damage. All appeared to be ok, but while doing the x-ray, it occurred to me, as I suggested to the technician, my curiosity about what my hand looked like in an x-ray. Looking at my x-ray, an idea occurred to me… subsequently, the applications and the experiences reduced to the slogans around the x-ray of my hand…

Over 60+ years of managing people’s misunderstandings or awkward humor at my expense has brewed within me. Now, because of all this, there’s the ability to use a form of dry humor, my image, a positive mindset and an accumulation of philosophy for good.

 Grandpa Holmes, brothers Curtis, Dave and I in 1950

All the up-to-now negative energy, to do with the intentionally obscene hand message gesture, can now be channeled into numerous positive applications.

The seed was planted decades ago and is now growing like you wouldn’t believe…