Thursday, 29 May 2014

29. Are You Lefty or Righty?

As I've gotten older I've thought this question mattered more to lefties than it does to righties.  The reason I say that is because there may be something of an unknown history of prejudice against lefties.  My mind was completely blown when I first heard that there is historical relevance to negative opinions and discrimination against left hand dominant peoples.  In some places and with some people this discrimination still exists today. 

The French word gauche in the English language has come to mean, as defined by Merriam- Webster a :  lacking social experience or grace; also :  not tactful :  crude <it would be gauche to mention the subject>

The French translation of gauche:

Origin of GAUCHE

French, literally, left

definition source

So the word left even translated and grew into a word with a very negative connotation.

Not only that but the word right as we've all come to know it is defined as:

2:  being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper <right conduct>
It's kind of weird how those every day words which we use without even thinking about it sort of surreptitiously perpetuate the historical prejudice.  Perhaps in today's politically correct world it's time for us to adopt other words?  Perhaps that's an over-reaction as I do not hear too many left handed people objecting to the use of the word right for correctness.  
Politically the Right is Conservative a word with a generally positive connotation while the Left is Radical a word with a generally negative connotation.  
I also do not know how true it is, and you'll have to pardon the social impropriety of bringing this up, but I've heard that it was common before modern toiletries for people to wipe their derriere's with their left hand so shaking hands with the right hand became acceptable practice while extending the left hand to shake was frowned upon. 

I myself, am right handed.  I hold no negative feelings or opinions towards anyone for being left handed.  I've always thought it would be cool to be ambidextrous but I do not know if anyone is born that way or if every one favors one side over the other and duel dexterity is something that must be learned.  With the brain being such a complex thing I'm sure most all of us have the ability to train our less dominant side to be the equivalent or superior to our more dominant side.

In baseball my twin and I were both able to teach ourselves how to hit left handed. Each of us were better average hitters from the left side of the plate.  I don't remember with Clifford, but I certainly hit with much more power from my dominant right handed side.  Of course, when you hit left handed it's your right eye that is closest to the pitcher and seeing the pitch.    I don't know if that has any effect on being able to make better contact from the left side or not.  When I hit from the right side it was my left eye that was closest and had the best view of the pitcher. 

So hopefully my discussion of being left handed or right handed, rather than simply answering the blog challenge question directly might have been educational to a few people.  And hopefully the absurdity of the prejudice helps enlighten a few people out there to the absurdity of any and all prejudices that they may feel towards someone else who is different because of where they were born, their ancestry, any disability they might have, their religion,  their size, their skin color or any other factor that might be used to look at someone else as inferior to ourselves.  >.<

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