On The Other Hand…


There are many aberrations in nature that are well known as aberrations. Calves with two heads. Shell-less turtles. Dwarf anythings. Journalists. Guidance Counselors. The list goes on. But there is one that, strangely, oddly, has slowly, imperceptibly gained acceptance in almost every society in the modern world. We’ve all most likely come in contact with at least one in our lives. Maybe some of us have one working among us. Or even living and eating with us in our own homes. Yes, I refer to the Left-handed person, or, more commonly, the Lefthander.

Left-handed history is a bittersweet one. Early on, Left-handed infants met a similar fate of all aberrations. Once identified, they were immediately destroyed. Even early science recognized that, although somewhat cruel, eradication was the only way to keep the human race from deteriorating, spiralling into a future of darkness for all mankind. But, in the thirteenth century, the Chinese, hungry for attention and very short, opted to spare the lives of their left-handers in order to sell them to foreign traders as ottomens, step stools and lawn sprinklers. This opened the gates, of course, and over the following centuries, “southpaws” have pathetically grovelled and clawed their way to their present position in our world. Make no mistake; that they have attained their current status in no way changes their reality.

Twenty-first century society has even begun to cater to the needs of those that “think on the other side of their brain”. Sports, especially baseball, has found a place for them on their fields of play. Similar, in some respects, to the place that the little monkey has as the organ grinder’s assistant, serving as a curiosity and comic relief. Industries keyed to the left-hander have exploded in the past 50 years. To wit: the left-handed monkey wrench industry; left-handed golf clubs; even left-handed silverware – although I’ve yet to meet a “lefty” that was capable of using or even understanding of how silverware might be used.

Well, the damage that began with the short-sighted Chinese has been done and may never be reversed. The Lefty has by this time inspired many phrases that are used in every day conversation. “The left-handed compliment”. “Out in left field”. “Left out”. “Hey, you butthead, you left the water running”. As you can see, none are very positive in nature.

By now I suspect the damage is done. We have our left-handed burden to deal with. I don’t expect that will ever change. But let’s not ignore the facts. Let’s not pretend that it’s ok, simply because they happen live among us due to the greed and bad judgement of past societies. Resist the temptation to accept, simply because we lack an alternative. And, please, for the sake of future mankind, let us never ever allow them to breed.

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