The Nigerian society frowns at using the left hand. Being left-handed is considered weird because the general perception is that, it is a bad habit.
So, lately my son started eating with his left hand. His dad is always quick to “correct” him to use his right hand. But I jump in and say, please allow him to use whatever hand he feels comfortable using, as long as he eats the food, there is nothing wrong with being left handed. It reminded me of when my mom was basically drilling my brother to make him right handed. She had noticed that he was a leftie and she wasn’t having any of that. He ended up being left and right handed (ambidextrous). Did you know that Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adapted in the use of both the left and the right hand? People who have learnt to use a second hand will always sway to their originally dominant hand.
Now he only writes with his right hand and does every other thing comfortably with his left. I must say his writing is horrible though, but I do believe his writing would have been better if he had been allowed to write with his left hand.
Why is being left handed considered to be bad in Nigeria?
Growing up as children, we were told that using the left hand to collect or give something to an older person is seen as a sign of disrespect. If you by mistake use your left hand to give or collect something from your elderly Uncle or Aunty, hey, you are in big trouble. They will call meeting for your head. But, I’m not sure why or how it disrespectful to use your left hand.
I know someone who said, his dad had a special cane for him whenever he attempted to eat with his left which he was comfortable with.
Even in schools, teachers scold kids for using their left hand. I read somewhere where a parent said, her child was crying that she didn’t want to go to school because the teacher smacks her and forces her to use her right hand.
Many studies suggest that Left-handed people are better at maths than righties and they demonstrate superior spatial skills, mental flexibility, and working memory. Lefties are also more common among mathematicians, architects, artists, and chess experts.
I personally admire left-handed people, I think they are cool. There is just something extraordinary about them.
Can you not see how cool Barack Obama is in the photo?
There is no good or bad hand. We should allow our left-handed children to be comfortable in their skin.