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Left Or Right Handed
by Ron Kitson

Most people it seems, will argue that we are born right or left handed and that you really shouldn't mess with that. Hogwash I say, Bolshevik, a lot of malarkey.

Since the left part of the brain controls the right side of the body, if a person was actually born right handed, you would have to agree the right part of the brain would have to be a little bit defective and not good at controlling the left limbs.

If that were the case, we'd all walk funny, probably run in circles and nobody could type fast because the handicapped hand couldn't begin to keep up with the other.

And how about piano or guitar players and drummers, does one hand do better or keep getting ahead of the other? I don't think so.

It used to be that just about everyone was right handed because parents and teachers saw to it. I don't think anyone's mind got all messed up because of it. When we wrote with liquid ink, a lefty had to avoid dragging his hand over wet ink.

There were always more choices in ball gloves to fit the left hand. Scissors were made for use with the right hand as were a number of tools so a person growing up left handed was often disadvantaged.

Cars are designed for right handed people in most countries. Most of the controls including gear shift, heater and radio controls were all conveniently positioned for right hand use.

I don't think I would rent a car and drive in England for fear of a head-on collision and British motorists could likewise be hesitant to drive in the countries across the channel or, over here. They don't want to change to driving on the right side of the road as we and indeed most others do and I don't understand that.

Of course, they never switched their currency to the Euro as did most if not all other countries in the EU and I don't understand that either. They did however switch their measuring system to metric which is uniform pretty much throughout the industrialized world except for here the USA.

I don't remember any lefties in any of my school classes back in the 40s and early 50s but I do remember the ink wells always being on the right.

Then some guy tells the world "Hey, better quit trying to make your child hold those crayons in the right hand, you'll mess up the kid's mind." During my years in business I found my customers to be about fifty-fifty and as time went on, seemingly more lefties as I watched them sign their names.

So, what happened, do lefties and righties average out about even like boys and girls? I don't think so.

Since mothers were mostly right handed when all this started back in the 1960s, I think there was a better than even chance your child would become left handed. Understanding that many parents would continue to place the crayons in the right hands, those who left it up to nature would likely raise a lefty.

I know a man who is right handed except he throws a ball left handed and does it very well. Many baseball players bat as well from one side as they do from the other. I am right handed but played hockey and lacrosse left handed but that was not uncommon as those teams needed both. Right handed players could not shoot well from the left side.

When I type, both hands seem to perform equally, one just as bad as the other.

Let's picture a right handed mother with an infant on her arm while she does things around the house. She needs her right hand free to do her chores so the tike is held on her left. With it's right arm jammed next to Mom, the left hand goes to work exploring Mom's nose, necklace, earrings, eyeglasses and hair and gets all the exercise and experience while the right hand does nothing.

Once the child begins to walk, a right handed Mom holds the young one's left hand which continues to get stronger. If you offer something to a child with your right hand, it will likely accept it with its corresponding left hand.

When I close my shirt, both hands work well together buttoning up the front. I button the left cuff with my right hand and the right cuff with my left hand and don't give it any thought. I've done it all my life. Well, most of it and one hand does as well as the other.

I unbutton my collar and pants with my left hand and both are extremely difficult if not impossible to do with my right hand.

I noticed in (Continental) Europe, most people would hold the fork and feed themselves with the left hand. Here, people spend more time passing that fork back and forth from one hand to the other than they do eating.

Bolt action rifles always had the bolt on the right. My "pump" shotgun loads from the right as do the Winchester saddle guns. Most saws were designed for right-handed use.

The old telephones had the receiver hanging on the left side as people held it in the left hand so they could write with the other. Some of you will recall the crank with which to ring the operator or someone on your line was always conveniently located on the right side.

Our old ice box and refrigerator doors always had the hinges on the right, so a person would grab the handle with the right hand to open the door and pull it to the right. Now, they're made reversible.

A lot of tools have been redesigned to make them friendlier to left handed users. On a drill for example, the little button that locks the switch "on" used to be on the left side of the handle. Someone using a drill left handed could unintentionally lock the switch "on" so the makers had to move the lock button.

Our watch pockets were (and still are) always on the right although sometimes too small for a pocket watch. I like the whole concept of a pocket watch. I can read the time without my glasses and I don't have to keep taking it off for fear of getting it wet, dirty or scratched.

Perhaps others will realize this and pocket watches will make a comeback. Then they'll want watch pockets on both sides.

Next thing we know "lefties" will be wanting to salute and shake hands with the left hand and that just wouldn't be right.

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