Friday, July 17, 2009

Article #63 Left Handed?

In my mom’s days, children weren’t allowed be left-handed. If a child showed a preference for using their left hand to write, a teacher was advised to tie the child’s left hand behind their back to force him or her to use the other hand. (Sounds like child abuse to me.) Luckily when I was born a lefty this practice was out of style or had been discontinued. So, I grew up eating and writing with my left hand, but it wasn’t easy growing up in a right-handed world. To adapt, I learned to iron, knit, and bat balls with my right hand since others teaching me only knew how to teach those skills that way. Just try writing with your non-dominant hand to see how challenging it is to learn to do things in a different way.

Ever notice that many left-handed people write their letters with a backward slant or write with their wrist bent at an awkward angle as they struggle to write letters from the top rather than the bottom of the line? That developed because all students were required to have their notepaper at the same angle on their school desk. (Talk about a lack of diversity in those days.) I re-taught myself to write left-handed from under the line by changing the slant of my writing paper to the opposite angle from the dominant right-handers. Imagine that? Nowadays there are left armed desks in schools available for southpaws.

Scissors, steak knives, water fountains, wrist watches and numerous other items are all designed with the right-handed person in mind. Even in our enlightened day and age, think about where your computer mouse in located? It’s on the right side although you can change it over to the left side. It’s been easier for me to teach myself to use it in its normal position. Maybe you could say lefties are not only challenged but more adaptable or creative?

How does one know whether they are right or left-handed? It’s not determined by genetics, as both my parents were right handed. When I married a lefty, our son turned out to be right handed. It has to do with brain dominance. About 10% of our population is left-handed. Many famous people are southpaws including: Albert Einstein, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, Leonardo de Vinci, Marilyn Monroe, and Babe Ruth to name just a few.

7 comments:

gigihawaii said...

My hubby is left-handed but is also ambidextrous. Eats and writes with his left, but throws and golfs with his right.

kavita said...

My son is left-handed....i always get tips from others on how to make him use his right hand..

Deborah Godin said...

It took me a while to get used to using a mouse with my right hand, but now I'm glad I did, because as a leftie, I can write while a surf.

Rambling Woods said...

I wish my mother had left me as a lefty... I have terrible handwriting and use my left hand for many other things....

Terri Tiffany said...

Interesting facts:) I would have hated to grow up left-handed back in my day too cause you are right--it was all geared for right handers.

mom/caryn said...

Our grandson is amnidextrous. He prefers using his left hand for a few things and we just let him do whatever feels is most comfortble for him. But, even when I was in school, the teachers encouraged the "lefty" kids to use the right hand as often as they could.

I have a pair of left handed scissors (Ginghers...so I'm not about to give them away) Frankly, I can't see any difference in cutting with those and cutting with any others. But, I often wondered how difficult it would be for a left handed race car driver to shift gears...

Kay said...

My husband and I are both right handed but our daughter is a lefty. That was a surprise to us but I often forget she's a lefty because she just adapts things to her world. She uses the mouse with her right hand also. However, she always positions where she sits carefully so she doesn't bump anybody when she's eating.