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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Left IS Right!

I know it sounds ludicrous but for me LEFT is RIGHT! I am one of those TOTALLY left handed people. I write left handed. I play all sports left handed. I use scissors with my left hand. I hold tools with my left hand. I start walking “left foot first”. When I approach a door, I pull the left door with my left hand, so typically I’m entering through an exit door. I set my dinner table with the silverware and beverage glass on the LEFT side. I cross my left arm over my right arm when I’m making that “I’m disgusted” expression. I do EVERYTHING with my left hand.

Why am I going on about this? My left brain was in a “dither” about the lack of accommodation to my dominant left hand while attempting to use “normal” scissors. I nearly strained my hand in discomfort and “awkwardness factor”. I did master them and was able to cut what I was attempting to, but it was no easy feat and it always reminds me how the world revolves around the right-handed majority. Between that and my "middle-child syndrome" I'm just a mess!

I own a can opener that nearly “rocks my world” in frustration every time I pull it out of the drawer to begin the weekly battle of wits: Kim versus the can-opener! So far I’m ahead at 225 to 196, but I feel the pressure of that can opener gaining on me, especially as I age and my hands become weaker.

Obviously there are some adaptations I’ve made to survive. I can insert a key into an automobile ignition and start my car with my right hand. I can also use my right foot to accelerate and apply the brakes in my vehicle. However, I refuse to even use some products that are strictly created and marketed for right-handed people. I don’t use spiral bound paper, I don’t sit and work at those chair/desks that are nearly ALWAYS on the right side.

I remember when I was learning to write in elementary school the teachers tried to make me hold the pencil and/or crayons with my right hand to “correct” my handwriting “issue”. I now realize it’s because they couldn’t teach me “backwards” and it was less frustrating for THEM to just teach me to use my right hand. It never “took”. I just became one of the many left handed individuals who write “upside down and backwards” according to the “norm” because the teacher couldn’t teach us how to hold the pencil and write.

I do realize now, after the frustration and minor ridicule of being “different” what a huge blessing this anomaly also brings. I am extremely creative. I find ways to adapt things to work and I can brainstorm ideas with ease. I find creative solutions for problems both interpersonally and in more pragmatic means as well. I have learned “endurance” while trying to ‘fit in’ to the right hand culture that is our world. Plus, I was able to show my nephew how to tie his shoes with him doing exactly what I did...while sitting in front of me! How cool is that?!

I can now embrace my left-handedness as a blessing, not a curse. It has been the source of many wonderful creations and I believe a more open mind to people and their uniqueness.

Here’s a little info to think on: (taken from Gauche! Left Handers in Society).

“The following common tools all require left-to-right wrist turning movements more comfortable for right-handers: corkscrew, rotary dial phone, analog clock-setting & winding, screws, lightbulbs, etc. The following are specifically designed to be used in a right-handed fashion: scissors, can openers, coffee makers, computer keyboards (numeric keypad on right), calculators and pushbutton phones (left-to-right array), golf clubs, many musical instruments (especially stringed), cars built in right-lane countries, most hand-held power tools (drills, saws), etc. Many of these tools are also used in the work environment (telephones, computers, power tools, kitchen utensils). But real danger is often encountered in manufacturing and construction environments: industrial meat slicers, drill presses, band saws, textile machinery, production lines, and heavy equipment. Some researchers believe the risk to left-handers under such conditions can be significantly greater than to their right-handed co-workers (Coren 1992).

Presented with ubiquitous right bias in the physical world, a left-hander or ambidextral has two options: (1) to learn to use the tool in a right-handed fashion (awkward and inefficient at best), or (2) to learn to somehow hold the tool backwards so that it can be manipulated with the left hand (often dangerous).

Have a wonderful, left-handed day!


Jessica said...

I know what you mean! My daughter is left handed...she can use both hands though.

I just found your blog and let me say...I too am a's AWESOME to find other Christian women online who have blogs sharing their lives as Christians! It REALLY is AWESOME!

Feel free to stop by my site (you'll need to register for FREE first before you can post a comment...just click on the register link on the right side of the page) and leave a comment and say hello (just click on Leave Your Comment on any of my blog entries or whatever and post reply on the box that comes up). Hope to have you as a regular visitor to my site and I'll try to visit your's often as well!

the voice said...

Whoa, I guess I never realized how hard lefties have it. It never occured to me the trouble you would have with everyday items.I guess the only thing I can do is pray that God would "heal" you of this major impediment. (just kidding) God bless you and both your hands, Ken

GiBee said...

I think my son is going to be left handed, and I made a comment about that in front of my parents ... and get what my dad said ... "Oh, no ... you need to break that right now!" I guess I must have looked all funny with my mouth hanging open, and he rushed on to say, "this is bad. He'll be traumatized for life. He'll live as an outcast. Because EVERYTHING is made for righties."

"Oooookay, dad. Thanks for the advice."

Just for the record, my dad never had the "sex talk" with me, didn't allow me to take Jazzercise in school because I would be dancing promiscuosly, and blushed at the very mention of a tampon or pad. Especially if the dog had gone into the trash and pulled something that might have resembled one out and ripped it up all over the floor.

Good grief!

kpjara said...

Welcome Jessica, I'm glad your here and I will definitely skip over and visit and knowing me and my MOUTH, I will most assuredly comment?

Dear use...I've been to healing ceremonies and everything and I'm destined to be this way! You SO make me laugh!!!

and GiBee...your dad sounds much like mine, though I'm certain I was much more mortified by the dog's indiscretion then he was! It was always when you had company or someone dropped by! Dog's have no idea about humility, do they? God love em'! and GOD BLESS Your son, for all the inconvenience, I wouldn't switch it for the world! Now prepare to adapt...

Karen said...

I'm a lefty too and was always told by my parents that it was special. But I've had my share of frustrations in a right handed world, that's for sure!

owlhaven said...

I'm a lefty too!

Mary, mom to many

kpjara said...

I should've known so many "bloggirls" would be lefties... Yeah!

It's definitely been an interesting "ride"