Why The Prejudice?

Our parents love us. They only think the best for us and it’s very natural for them to be protective of us for we are their prized assets. Their lives revolve around us and I’ll forgive them if, during our childhood, they leave us bereft of certain experiences only because they think it’s dangerous. But sometimes what starts as protectionism from parents, if let out of control, ends up culminating into a barrier for us to experience our true being. They try and change things in us without knowing fully the implications it may have on us later.

One such phenomenon in our society is parents trying to change the dominant hands of their children. India is a land of a trillion mesmerizing things and one of them are superstitions. And it is quite natural that some of those fallacies are built around the taboo that is associated to the use of left hand. Let’s take it from the top when the child is born with a dominant left hand. A child is born with no such knowledge and if the behaviour is never interrupted, he may never notice that he is out of ordinary or ominous in any way. Imagine how normal his life would be. However, if he hands over his money with his left hands in our society, he is asked to change the hands first and then give it again, for it is wrong to hand over money with left hands. Now try and concentrate on the dilemma and embarrassment a child would face when he is asked to shy away from the most mundane inclination of using his left hand and he isn’t wrong at all. Superstitions such as below have forever kept as befooled –

  1. Performing any ritual with left hand is ominous and God won’t accept your gift. Really? Don’t our religious books say that you are perfect in God’s image of a perfect child? He only asks you to be in gratitude for the gifts he has rendered to you and a left hand is one of them!
  2. We’re also deterred from using our left hands to eat or cook and these limitations are most commonly dished out upon females who use kitchens more than men do. It is claimed by various studies that females are lesser prone to be born left handed and so, if ever a female around us is a southpaw; simply observe the uniqueness without judgement and prejudice.

Now recall the Indian hygiene habits in our Indian toilets. Do you think that’s where everything went wrong for Indians who were born left handed and then were forced to change their dominant hand? Wouldn’t correct hygiene habits get us rid of all the dogma? Had some of the famous southpaws been scorned for using their left hand, we wouldn’t have witnessed those Amitabh fight scenes that we whistled on, or Yuvraj’s 6 sixes in an over, or that first over hat-trick by Irfan Pathan against Pakistan. To sum it up, DON’T EVER meddle with the intuition that your child is born with.

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Left Handers – The Eccentricity in the Crowd

Let’s admit it – southpaws are attractive! They look so regal when they pick that pen up to sign a cheque or when they pick up a cricket bat and caress that cover drive. Stand across the court to a certain Rafael Nadal (tennis) or Carolina Marin (badminton) and you’ll know you are headed towards an unchartered territory; a territory that you may not be very well equipped to handle as a right hander. You can almost feel a different wave of energy around them. Hold the left hand of a right handed person and then hold the left hand of a southpaw, you’ll notice a certain enigma about the left hander. It’s like a different, unheard and unfelt mode of communication. The touch of a left hander would say a lot, for the way our body is cross-wired – left hand is connected to the right hemisphere of our brain while the right hand is connected to the left hemisphere. And that’s why left handers think and behave differently than others.

Just to let you in on the purposes of the right and left hemispheres of our brain, the right one, that controls the left hand, is the creative and imaginative side aka the feminine side of our personality while the left one, that controls the right hand, is the logical side associated with the actual brainy and masculine functions. Around 13% of the world population is left handed and most of them are genetically gifted with this trait. It’s very easy to find that left handers are exceptional with activities and sports that require hand-eye coordination and are therefore superb at ball sports. People with a dominant right brain are incredibly creative and visual thinkers as well.

Apart from the aura and intimidation that southpaws carry, they also carry something invisible to eyes of a layman – the agony of using items created purely for the use of right handers. Try and observe the tiny objects of daily use and their placement around us and ask yourself this – how would and should this be for a left hander and where would it be placed correctly for him. It is then it’s realized how different and difficult this world is for southpaws. Fortunately though, people and organizations are becoming aware of this and are working towards making their life a tad bit easier. Websites like The Left Hand Shop are creating and sourcing plethora of daily use items for left handers and making them available in India. Check it out, it’s pretty cool actually.

So next time you see a left hander, don’t bore them by asking the same old question –  “Are you a lefty?” Instead just enjoy their demeanor and feel lucky that you are in esteemed company of a gifted individual.