May 28, 2012

It’s Tough To Type Using Only My Left Hand

By Paul Bieber

I took typing class in 7th grade. This was before it was keyboarding. Ever since I have typed with both hands. I even earned money during college typing term papers for my classmates. (Fifty cents a page) But right now, I am typing only with my left hand. My right hand feels like it should be in a museum and I don’t want to take a chance hurting it.

I know this sounds totally whacky. Why would I want to take such special care of my right hand?

First of all, I am whacky, but that has been my normal for many years. What is different now? Last week, I shook the most famous hand I have ever had the honor to shake, the hand of the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden. We talked for thirty seconds, and he held my hand the entire time. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. This gentleman is the Vice-President of our country; and when he asked my name and what I did for a living, he made me feel like I was the most important person he had ever met.   He didn’t ask my political view, he was shaking my hand whether I was Democratic or Republican.  (Full disclosure:  This was at a Democratic event, so I think he knew anyway.) 

There were 6 Secret Service agents around him and I guess a few more behind me as well.  But they respected Mr. Biden’s wishes to meet the crowd after he gave a speech.  How did I get so lucky?  I was invited to the speech, and because occaisonally I walk with a cane, I was ushered to the handicapped seating area.  Also, as my wife, Elaine, and I arrived an hour and a half early, we were seated in the front row.  I had no idea that we would be shaking hands.  I just wanted to get a good seat at a crowded rally, where most people would be standing. 

Vice-President Biden is only the proverbial heart-beat away.  And here he was asking me about the glass industry after I told him where I worked.  I told him times were tough, but that an upswing was due.  And, he cared about what I said. 

So, you see, my right hand is now special.  Here we are in America, where the Vice-President of the United States is eager to meet the citizens; where he asks questions and listens to the answers; where our leaders meet the people.  I have always been proud to be a citizen of the US and never thought about this in degrees of pride.  Now, I am just bursting with praise of our country and its form of leadership.  Dictators and tyrants don’t do want to meet glass industry consultants. 

This blog is being written over the Memorial Day weekend and this emphasizes that we truly are the “Land of the free and the home of the brave”.