Perspective: Lefty

Aug 20, 2020

I was born left-handed, but my mother had heard that lefties die earlier than right-handers….So she decided I needed to become a right-hander. My mother and father would hand everything to my right hand and eventually this method worked. Sort of. When I learned square dancing years later, I had problems with left and right turns. The same thing happened with ballroom dancing.  My brain was evidently confused.

My left hand also would fight for supremacy at times. I clutched my pencil like a lefty. My grandmother observed that I ironed like a left-hander. Even now, when I’m tired, I find myself reaching for a toothbrush or a glass with my left hand. After fifty some years, nature won’t totally surrender to nurture.

And was my mother right? Probably not…There are no definitive studies that prove right-handers live longer than left-handers. However, left-handers are supposed to be more creative and tend to use both sides of the brain. I’d like to think that my forced right-handedness didn’t squelch some of the more desirable aspects of left-handedness.

Of course, left-handers used to be stigmatized. In fact, the word “sinister” originally referred to something unfavorable, “on the left side.” If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this underhanded personal history, differences at birth—handedness, hair color, sexual orientation—should be accepted. As Lady Gaga observed, “Baby, I was born this way.” And so I was.

I’m Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan and that’s my Perspective.