13 August 2013

A STROLL WITH KEITH MILSOM (For International Left Handers Day)

“The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This means that only left handed people are in their right mind” ~Anonymous

Lauren and Keith Milsom

Lefthanders have rights! Yeah! They do…and most especially today because, it’s lefthanders day! Happy Lefthanders day to every left hander on earth :)

Although as a child I really didn’t think they were special, on the contrary I even felt they were disabled (hehe). Maybe it’s due to the number of times I was corrected—mostly with a cane—by my parents for using my left hand to eat, write, or collect/give things to my elders. But I think my view about left-handedness has changed a great deal since then.

My guest on the stroll today is a leftie who is doing so much for other lefties in the world. He’s the founder of the Lefthanders day, and he also runs ‘Anything Left-handed’; a shop that sells only left-handed things! Awesome right? (heheh)

In course of our stroll he told me about the challenges a lefthander faces in a right-handed world, about what motivated him to found the Lefthanders day, and if he thinks being left-handed is a blessing or a curse…well, here we go:

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for having this stroll with me Mr. Keith, it's really a pleasure.
Keith: You’re welcome Ebenezar, great talking with you.

Ebenezar: Are you a leftie? And what inspired you to start the lefthanders?

Keith: Yes, of course, and so are my wife and son.  I started it 30 years ago with my father, also a lefthander, as we could not find any good places to get a hold of left-handed products and there was no information available on helping left-handed children. 

Image credit: AYankeeWoman

Ebenezar: What do you intend to achieve by having this day on the international observance?

Keith: Celebrate the advantages of being left-handed and raise awareness among right-handers of some of the frustrations us lefthanders face ina world designed largely by and for right-handed people. (More here)

Image Credit: lefthandersday.com
Ebenezar: Okay, I know you're not a medical doctor. But is there any medical explanation as to why some people are left-handed and others are right-handed?

Keith: It does seem to be genetic in some way but not like eye colour which is completely predictable based on parents and grandparents.  The "left-handed gene" seems to work in combination with other factors but is does run in families and the chances of two left-handed parents having a left-handed child are hugely higher than for two right-handed parents.(More here)

Ebenezar: When I was a child, my mum and grandma scolded me whenever I did stuffs with my left hand, and that forced me to change to my right hand over time. In some cultures they feel doing things with your left hand is a taboo... So how do we draw the line between culture and nature?

Keith: We certainly feel that nature should prevail and there are definite adverse consequences in forcing a child to change hands. (See article here)

Ebenezar: I know it's not really easy for a left hander to survive in a world designed majorly for right-handers, but what do you think can be done to balance this? How can the world change to accommodate lefthanders?

Keith: I think raising awareness that there ARE left-handed versions of most things available and that a lot of the problems left-handers face are purely down to using the wrong equipment.  This is particularly true for children; where a few minor changes to the way they are taught to write, and do other basic activities can make a huge difference

Ebenezar: What makes 'Anything Left-handed' different from the regular grocery store on the street?

Keith: Everything we sell is left-handed!

Ebenezar: Hahaha! Whao! I'd love to visit there one of these days. Is ‘Anything Left-handed’ the only one of its kind in the world? Don't you think we need more of this? Have you thought of franchising?

Keith: There are other small shops and local businesses, but Anything Left Handed is the oldest and largest in the world.  We have tried to spread it, but unfortunately it is not really a viable business financially and for us it has been more a labour of love over many years that we have supported financially from other things we do.

Ebenezar: Will you consider being left-handed a blessing or a curse? Because I'm left-footed, and I can remember back in high school many people were scared of me on the field because, I could do a lot of ball tricks with my left foot. So it was like a plus to me... Does this apply to lefthanders too?

Keith: Generally a blessing and I think we really do have advantages in the way we think and create as well as advantages in a lot of sports and physical activities.  
More on advantages of being Left-handed here

That is balanced partly by the frustrations of having to use right-handed equipment sometimes, but overall I think we lefties come out on top! (hehe)

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for your time Mr. Keith, I wish you good luck with ‘Anything Left-handed’, and I hope we get to stroll again some other time.

Keith: Thank you Ebenezar.


For more about Mr. Keith (@Lefthandersclub) and the lefthanders day, you can visit this website. In case you also want to see what is in store at ‘Anything Left-handed’, you can click here.

I’ve got a confession to make; I’m really jealous of Lefthanders right now! (haha) My wish to become Left-handed even increased when I got know that gifted people like; Leonardo Da Vinci, Blll Gates, Rafael Nadal, and even President Barack Obama are left-handed.

But I’m still grateful to God the way I am though. Everybody has a special purpose on earth and God designed our bodies, temperaments, and talents to match that purpose! So appreciate yourself and love the way you are… because nobody can love you like you—except Jesus that is. (hehe)

Till my next stroll… Thanks for reading, Jesus Loves You.

Ebenezar Wikina (@poeticjazz)
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