I believe I have mentioned somewhere that I am a lefty. I do just about everything with my left hand – when brushing my teeth, eating with chopsticks, and throwing and kicking balls. But most people rarely notice it, because they usually only see me writing with my right hand (I was “corrected” by my mother when I first learned to write, because she strongly believed that the correct way to write Chinese characters is with the right hand).
But if you observed me closely, I show signs of being a lefty all the time. I draw right, but I colour left. I use the screw driver with my right hand, but I hold the hammer in my left hand. I tat by holding the shuttle in my right hand, but I sew by holding the needle in my left hand.
I am not quite sure where the division of roles occurs between my right and left hands, but I think that wherever there is a conventional way of doing things, I use the conventional hand for the majority, the right; otherwise, I let my left hand run free… I am not much of a rebel, as you can see. (haha!)
So, then, what do I do with things that were once conventional but now much more lefty-friendly? Well, I become quite a rebel, without intending to be.
For example, there are scissors for lefties now that have blades on the opposite side than ordinary scissors, so that lefties can also see the line where they are cutting and exert maximum force to cut crisp and clean. And when the very few observant ones see me using ordinary scissors with my left hand and having little success, they almost always look at me with pity in their eyes and suggest I get a pair of scissors for lefties for better results.
But you see, what they do not know is, maybe I am not good with scissors to begin with.
Maybe I have tried the scissors for lefties and found out that they are no easier to handle.
Maybe it is because I have gotten so used to using ordinary scissors – unconsciously calculating the position of blades so I will be cutting along where the line of cutting should be, and exerting maximally efficient force to cut as straight and tidy as possible – that it gets too confusing to adjust now.
Maybe this is not the best I can do, but it is not the worst I imagine either, so I do not feel sorry for myself with what I am getting.
I know, they are just being nice, informing me of other options that they believe can “correct” what they see as problems for me. I find them to be very nice just to notice my troubles being a lefty. But it would be nicer if they could let me decide on my own what is correct for me, even if it is not the correct answer that the majority would choose.
Hence, the rebel in me do not request sympathy for things I do not feel unhappy about, and cannot appreciate advices that are off the mark.
However, I do feel I should still be nice to them for being nice to me. So I tell them, “I’m just fine, thank you” with a smile, so they will not feel pity for me any more… and be nice enough to leave me alone!
As I make this post on March 30, 2017, I encountered a young man on the subway with physical disabilities being taken care of by his mother for every move he made. As our eyes met, I thought I heard him say “I’m just fine, thank you” to his mother. Maybe there is no correct answer, but I could not help but wonder if there were not any options he could choose to make moves on his own…