On the other hand

South paws

What’s wrong with the tick mark?

Well, all right, that’s not what I really meant but, on the other hand, if you listen on you will understand what I am saying.

Are you one of those people who need to rotate a book or page before signing in? Or turn the other side when holding a cricket bat?

Which hand do you brush your hair with? Or hold a toothbrush or a spoon in?

Sure, sure …you get the point …but let’s push it a bit more. Which hand do you hold a pen with or wear your wedding ring on?

Riggght …we are talking about left handed people. Heard about south paws – right? You’ll really need to forgive me a bit for saying the word ‘right’ with multiple meanings.

So …you know that lefthanders are called South paws and the word was first used for left-handed baseball players and boxers.

And now they have also come up with Northpaws … but that’s for another day.

This whole thing started with the tick mark or the checkmark if you please. I remember getting confused in school when choosing answers to multiple choice questions. My ticks would always point North West and I couldn’t figure out why they looked different from other ticks!

Well, if you are a right handed person and wonder what it must be like to be left-handed in a right-handed world …here’s a snapshot.

Judy, my friend from Birmingham, UK, says, ‘The world is geared towards right-handed users – buttons on jackets and jeans, handles on doorways or desks in school. But I have learned to be ambidextrous simply because I had to.’

My teenaged neighbour says that he always switches sides when at a dinner table with right handed people. Now that sounds familiar to me …I worry about knocking elbows at the dinner table too!

Even learning to play the guitar is much easier using your right-hand though you were left handed…simply because your teacher is right handed! It’s just better to get used to it. Like the buttons on the mobile phone or the layout of the USB and other ports in a laptop. You just get used to it!

We all have learned that the left side of our brain controls the right of our body and vice versa. And that the left brain handles details, and the right deals with the big picture. You use the left when solving a math problem, but you look to your right when you put a name to a face. Interesting isn’t it? So … before you start turning your head to experiment here’s something interesting…

Did you know that we show our preference even before we are born…. in fact as early as week eight.  Also, that the spine is originally responsible for this and not the brain. They say it’s due to environmental factors in the womb, not genetics.

South paws are only 11% of the world population – that’s about 85 followed by eight zeroes! No wonder left-handers work differently and come up with creative solutions as they see the world through a unique lens.

And, by the way, did you know there is an International Lefthanders Day. You didn’t, did you? It’s on August 13. It celebrates lefties around the globe, and raises awareness of the daily issues faced by lefties. Fortunately, today there’s more awareness, products and activities for us south paws.  Yet, I think, learning to be ambidextrous is not a bad idea at all! Or just turn things the other way round! Right?

On the other hand … it takes all sorts to make a world!

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