Bound Hands are Bound Actions

  • Description of motion:  Hands are held out in front of the body close together as if they are bound.
  • Date Observed: 01/01/2015 at Brunch.  Person was standing.
  • Example:  A baker works at a bakery and is forced to throw away all of the day old bread instead of giving it to a homeless woman who asks for a loaf.  "I wish I could help you, but my hands are tied."  
  • Use:  Implies a lack of authority to make the proper decision, an inability to effect change in a given outcome, a loss of control over a situation, etc.  
  • Metaphor:  Bound Hands are Bound Actions.
  • Explanation: When our hands are bound, we experience an inability to move freely with our bodies.  The rope is a foreign object that is imposing its will upon us, or more likely, the rope acts as a proxy for the person who tied it.  If Charlie tied up Lindsey, then the rope is in effect, the will of Charlie restricting Lindsey's freedom of movement.  We can experience this same kind of constraint in the abstract sense, such as when confronted with a situation where our range of choices are limited by an imposing seemingly invisible authority.  In the example given above, the baker wants to give the bread to the homeless woman, but knows that his boss doesn't permit it.  His bosses restriction of action is imagined as similarly restrictive bound hands.
  • Origin:  Given our often violent and aggressive beginnings, intimidation, submission to authority and uneasy compliance to the rules are most likely fundamental experiences of human beings.  These emotional experiences of aggressive behaviors are perfect corollaries with the physical aggression that was also rampant at the time such as pillaging, enslavement and rape.  Being physically enslaved then becomes the physical embodiment for emotional slavery, for abstract principles that we feel dominated and constricted by.