My Name is Violet Lisero and I am a proud Leftie!
And no… not the leftie you are thinking about – the person with left-wing political views – but a proud left handed person. And right this moment I am so appalled at a post I have just read on social media and the comments in response to it! The original poster was asking for suggestions on how to ‘convert’ her left handed child to become right handed! In this day and age??!!
This post has prompted me to tell my story and I trust that it will save a child from this archaic stigma.
I am left-handed and it took me a long time to be proud and accept that I am normal, perhaps even better than normal. My childhood consisted of being taken through hell and back in a bid to ‘convert’ me into a right handed child. I was beaten, pinched, threatened and at one time had my left hand tied behind my back to make me use my right hand. I constantly had to listen to comments like ‘you are using the wrong hand…. you are using a bad hand….’. I would pull a crowd when I started to write, but they were not there to cheer me or marvel at my handwriting and encourage me, but to jeer and laugh at me for using ‘that’ hand. And when ink pens were introduced in school boy wasn’t I forever canned for smudging my books.
I retreated, became withdrawn thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought I must have really offended God to deserve this kind of ‘punishment’. Whenever I sensed someone looking at me I would stop writing and wait until they walked past. Sometimes I would switch hands and really try to use my right hand. You see… with all the canning and punishments I actually became ambidextrous. However, you cannot compare my handwriting from both hands. With my left hand I write very fast and my writing is very neat; with my right hand I am much slower as the writing resembles a doctor’s (no offence doctors in the house lol)
Anyway back to my story… I became an expert at avoiding any activities that brought out my left handedness. I picked athletics over hockey for obvious reasons, and business education over needlework. For this reason, I also learnt how to cook much later than girls my age. You see I was conditioned to believe that my left handedness was a big obstacle to my learning all these things. Then there were the innocent nicknames that dogged me continuously – “leftie” and “shoto”. And while people didn’t imagine how much they affected me…well for the little girl who grew up stigmatized it really did and I hated being referred to that way.
As life went on and I grew up, I realised being leftie was very ok, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with being one. I met other awesome lefties – Linsey Wanjiku Owen Kibet Winnie Amuyunzu Kennedy Kiragu – big up! I won’t go ahead to mention all the awesome global movers and shakers in this world who belong to #TeamLeftie – you already know them right?
Parents, if you are blessed with a left handed child please do not try and change them or make them feel like they are different or wanting in anyway. Actually not just parents – guardians, mentors and anyone in authority over young people, please note that this message is for you too. We are all uniquely created and there is no need to force your child to conform to what is not their destiny. You may be destroying your child.
Lefties are great and awesome people.
PS: I now love being referred to as shoto or leftie.
Author: Violet Lisero
Violet is a savvy entrepreneur who runs Roses &Ivy, an enterprise dealing in high quality household and personal use products, as well as fashion items. She is very passionate about ensuring young people understand and thrive in greatness. She may be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org