When I was a little boy I knew I was different than most of the other little boys. My parents started to notice when I was just a toddler. Sometimes it was the way I would reach out and grab things that didn’t belong to me. Sometimes it was as subtle as the way I would reach out to pet my dog Poncho. I didn’t know it at the time but I was becoming a left-handed boy in a world that is 90% right-handed.
I was born that way. It was not my choice. Who would willingly choose to face the oppression that attaches to left-handedness? In fact, I would go so far as to say that anyone who believes left-handedness is “chosen” should be subjected to government-run sensitivity training sessions. Either that or be expelled from our public universities. I’m sure Neal Boortz would agree. It would be a queer thing if he did not.
The oppression associated with my left-handedness did not hit me all at once. I began to notice it at age ten when I started playing baseball. I wanted to play third base but they would not let me. So I had to play first base – a position generally reserved for those born with my tendencies. I also pitched but they would rarely let me start. Instead, I only came in for short relief when the opposition was sending other left handers like me to the plate. For some reason, they only wanted me pitching to others born with my affliction.
Things got worse when my parents signed me up for guitar lessons at age twelve, which meant I had to buy my first guitar. Best Products sold left-handed guitars but they were priced at $150. I was not able to afford one. Instead, I bought a $35 right-handed guitar and learned to overcome my natural inclinations. It was inconvenient, to say the least.
I overcame my early disadvantages and eventually became a professional guitarist. I even managed to finance four years of graduate school playing in a little band. I think people make too much of the fact that I was able to overcome my genetic predisposition and succeed. They forget that I was subjected to inconvenience. To me, that’s all that really matters.
When I think back on all we’ve been through I am amazed that left-handers have been so successful. In our last presidential election we were destined to choose a left-handed president (both McCain and Obama are southpaws). In fact, three of our last four presidents – Obama, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush – have been southpaws.
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