Monday, January 28, 2008
A Child’s Right To Be Left Alone
Were you a persecuted leftie when you were a kid?
I was. My parents made me favor my right hand, especially with writing and drawing, even thought I was naturally a leftie.
The other day I was talking with my eye doctor and he asked me if I was right- or left- handed. When I told him how my parents had trained me, he commented that they had to be Roman Catholic. He was right.
Someone else might have offended by his comment but I wasn’t. He mentioned the word “sinister.” He didn’t have to explain the connection.
According to the dictionary, “sinister” has its origins with ancient augurs. The left hand ended up meaning bad luck, though originally it was associated with good luck.
As explained in Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th Edition): “Early Roman augurs faced south, with the east (lucky side) to the left, but the Greeks (followed by later Romans) faced north.”
Because of this, sinister ended up being associated with left hands and bad luck – and evil.
By forcing me to favor my right hand, my parents were preventing me from being “evil” as such.
I’ve heard that such forced training can cause dyslexia. I don’t suffer from that, at least with words, but I do have a tendency to flip around numbers, e.g., 82 becomes 28.
And when I’m tired or distracted, my left and right sides get mixed up. Cross your arms, putting your hands in reverse position. That’s what it’s like for me when I’m not completely focused. For example, I’m driving a car and someone tells me to make a right turn. So I make a left turn.
I blame it all on The Cult of Dexter.
Posted by Ray Palm (Ray X) at 11:38 PM