Big Spring Herald Weekend

Life from the Left…

- Don newbury By Dr. Don Newbury Special to the Herald

What a downer this piece will be for those who might mistakenly expect exposure to views of leftist politics and/or liberal leanings. It’s none of those.

Instead, I spotlight a group long surrendere­d to “dim lights,” largely because we are greatly outnumbere­d. Unlike the brave Ukrainians, we give in to the world’s “righthande­rs,” 88% strong, often without whimpering.

We “left-handers,” never full recipients of equal treatment on life’s highway, accept less. We groan about only 12% of the world being on the port side of things….

There is evidence that the percentage of lefthanded folks is growing, but ever so slowly. Few of us will be around to celebrate increasing to 13%.

Pessimists among us contend that even if this is true, there’s still a long way to go.

Indeed, we are usually afterthoug­hts. We have learned that sometimes maneuverin­g awkwardly to fit in is both easier and safer than making noise for equality….

Until recent years, some teachers of five and sixyear-olds had denounced left-handedness, believing they could get youngsters on the right track if they were forced to write with their right hands.

In extreme cases, they tied left hands behind youngsters’ backs!

I’m forever grateful that Lora Everage, perhaps the sweetest first-grade teacher in all of history, allowed me to scrawl with my left hand, no matter the contortion­s associated therewith….

I dared to research “left-handedness,” but quickly become weary of so much negativity. Whichever “handed” you are, avoid researchin­g the topic. Terrible biases have abounded across several centuries, including allegation­s of warped views on religion, evil nature and even biblical condemnati­on. (One researcher notes that the Bible makes 100 references about the right hand, all positive, with 25 for the left, 100% negative.)

In rare cases, we are viewed positively. As early as 750 BC, the Celts worshiped “lefties.” Ancient tribes associated the left with “the source of life,” as well as possessors of magical and healing abilities.

Let’s laugh and go on, thankful for baseballer Yogi Berra’s slaughter of the English language. It was he--referring to Mickey Mantle’s batting from both sides of the plate--who labeled the star as being “amphibious.”….

I often experience subtle reminders of being a “lefty.” Recently, I bought a new popcorn scoop. It has a wooden handle, perfect for right-handed scoopers. I was able to remove the handle and clumsily attach it to the left side. It looks stupid, but it works.

I may be “left-legged” and “left-footed” as well. I have tried, awkwardly, to aim my right leg into my trousers first (and the same is true of putting on socks). It simply doesn’t feel right. My world wobbled in a manner not unlike the day my mother sent me to school with my hair parted down the other side….

Worsened heart conditions scream at me to accept realities, however stark. My new pacemaker is exhibit one.

I am never--note the firmness of this directive-to place my smart phone in my left-hand shirt pocket--thus saith my doctor.

When I do, the phone’s magnet can play havoc with my heart contraptio­n. Perhaps I didn’t hear the instructio­n earlier, but I have readily accepted the directive to find another pocket….

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