Does your pinky finger have a mind of its own when you hold a cup?
Apparently, it is an anatomy thing more than a psychology thing – from what I understand, it is easier on the muscles and tendons to stick up the pinky to get a better grip on something. So, just because someone has their pinky stick up when drinking tea does not necessarily mean they are doing it intentionally to appear elite and elegant (though I hear it is an etiquette faux-pas).
I actually pay more attention to pinkies that do not flip up. It takes a lot of continuous training and constant consciousness to make them behave. But once your muscle memory consolidates, they never disobey you… they will always sit quietly with the other fingers. I know this, because I had to go through this torturous process when I was taking lessons in a form of traditional art.
But it was worth it! Once I had perfect control of my pinky, some people (notably the elder and higher-ranked) started treating me differently, as if I were elite and elegant. They too knew the true value of the pinky-under-control, both in terms of the hard work that must be put in to attain it, and what it implies about the depth of understanding in our culture and manners.
And the interesting thing is, even the others who do not see the importance of the well-governed pinky noticed something different about me, despite not being able to put their finger on exactly what that something was. The change in their reaction was more vague and diffused, but for sure for the better – generally treating me a little nicer and kinder and with a little more respect.
Now, is it all because my pinky finger is no longer mischievous?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
But maybe a change as little as a pinky is all you need.
Maybe if the change is truly of value, you do not have to stick it up to have it noticed.
Maybe even a pinky change can have mighty effects if you set your heart on it.
Maybe you already have a mighty pinky, if only you paid closer attention to it.