Roger von Oech

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Beth Robinson

Two arms. One leg.

A prosthesis for mobility would be annoying and uncomfortable, but something I think I could cope with. Trying to use a prosthesis to type, embroider, or collage just boggles my mind. Now if that was be in a wheelchair versus lose an arm, I might have to think about it some more. Trying to get places with a stroller is bad enough.


I think the answer depends highly on the person. People who spend a lot of time on their feet, or have jobs that require a lot of moving around, would be really uncomfortable with prosthetic legs or a wheelchair. I just saw a landscaper yesterday who was missing an arm, but was climbing all around on his equipment...without a leg, I think he'd have to change jobs.

For me, though, I agree with Beth. I spend a lot of time using my fine motor skills in my hands more than being on my feet. (Computers, writing, crafting, children, driving, gardening.) But, I'd definitely have to move into the downstairs bedroom.

Jen Haertling

Having had a leg in a cast and an arm in a cast (at different times) I would have to say I missed the use of 2 arms more than the use of 2 legs - not to say I wouldn't miss my 2nd leg or wish that on anyone.

Lewis Green


It's Pandora's box--neither choice is great but one is much worse. I'll go with the two arms because I need them for my work and for hugging my family.

BTW: I haven't started your book yet because my wife ripped it out of my hands as soon as it arrived and I haven't been able to get it back.

Cam Beck

Wow. A post like this really makes you appreciate what you have, doesn't it?


Two arms and a leg. I can do things like type and play video games much more easily with two arms. I suppose having only one leg would mean I'd need to find a new way to exercise, but it'd be a relatively minor inconvenience.

Roger von Oech

Seems like all the responses so far have favored having two arms and one leg. This doesn't surprise too much. Although I wonder if "people who go on the Internet and type their ideas" is a self-selecting group with a bias for hands.

A lot of the human brain is given over to eye-hand relations, and getting these working well together is important for doing many of the things we call human.

I wonder how my answer would differ if I lived two or three hundred years ago.

Curtis Dumonceaux

This discussion is making me rethink my desire to buy a scooter.


Two arms and one leg. And first of all, Roger, thank you for choosing this theme to discuss. Behind the thoughts about those 2 or 1 there is just a great example of how strong people's dreams are and how the Big Goal makes some circumstances really unimportant. I have read in a newspaper that some sportsmen who competed with Natalie that time, said that can't even imagine what she would able to do with both legs... The perfect opportunity to see that all our daily "problems" are just nothing comparing to such stories...


Two arms and a leg here too. I am rather tactile and like working with my hands, while my kinesthetic abilities are awkward. As someone else mentioned it seems like it would be easier to accommodate the loss of a leg through prosthetics.

Completely unrelated but I keep forgetting to ask - are you going to do a book tour for the 25th anniversary edition?

Free to think, free to believe

Well - 2 legs and one arm (I'd 'give' up the left arm as I'm right-handed) - but what about that quip 'I'd give my left arm to be...' hmm - I'd give all my limbs to become an olympic ... it doesn't really work yet - a half-formed idea is always dangerous to let out the bag...

I'd prefer to get out and about without needing to strap something on - even though it would make smoking my pipe tricky, to put it mildly. Although is this really a genuine question as we all know we can have a good prosthetic for our legs but the hand/arm combo is still a long way off...


Two arms- easy. A youth leader at our church lost his foot in a motorcycle accident and had his leg amputated above the knee. He was on a prosthetic leg in 3 months and did great. Plus the kids thought it was waaaaay cool.

Seriously- prosthetics being what they are today, I'd take a metal leg any day.


I Refuse to Speak something as such into Existence.


That's a tough decision. I wish that on anyone. However, I think if I had to make this very difficult choice, I would prefer two arms & a leg. Why? Because, well I think it depends on each person but I am so vain that I considered how much it would be possible to dissimulate my missing part on making my decision. Besides, my future job won't be a lot of moving around so, I think it would be the right one for me. I gotta say this: Just thinkin about it makes me feel blue.

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