The Ambidextrous Project: From papers to dinner tables

I won’t say I’ve been lazy. I’ll just say I have been absorbed deeply into thinking, as The Ambidextrous Project discreetly travelled from blog posts, Facebook updates, instagram photos to dinner tables and tea gatherings at home.

When your little project becomes the conversation topic in family gatherings, it’s a proud moment. When we talk about exercising the non-dominant hand to exercise the brain, “Hand works, but brain doesn’t,” my sister and aunt add a bit of humor.

My uncle talked about the use of abacus to practice the non-dominant hand through the medium of mathematics. My mom says she will join along.

Handedness served as the desert alongside main course!

And my friends have been up with some interesting ideas too.

Here’s an amazing gif by Ben from his ambidextrous project.

And I have some friends who have painted silhouettes with their left hand, some of them who believe this to be their “fun festival”, some other who believe its like yoga or meditation, some of them who write exceptionally well with their non-dominant hand right at their debut season this time and some others who are brushing their teeth with their left hand.

See, there are no wrong hands! (It’s biology, let the brains decide!)

Curious about handedness, I managed to finished two books on lefties this summer; The Left Stuff by Melissa Roth and The Left Handed Book by James T. deKay.

Some interesting excerpts from the book The Left Stuff: How the Left-Handed Have Survived and Thrived in a Right-Handed World. A book just for lefties, but for anyone who wants to marvel at the mystery of the human body.

Lefties as parameters:

In cross cultural studies conducted by social scientists, the percentage of left-handers in a society can serve as a barometer for that society’s tolerance for difference.

Handedness is not absolute:

Because so few people use only one hand to do everything, handedness is more of a continuum than an either/or identity.

Worried that lefties are more disorganized?

No one ever conducts studies of right-handers to determine what percentage has autoimmune disorders and other pathologies, so in the end, it boils down to what Ward refers to as “a numbers game”. In other words, left-handers only appear to have more problems because there are fewer of them to start out with, which results in fewer of them with no problems.

It takes two to tango (or salsa!):

“The two sides of the body always do complementary things; one supports and the other acts,” explains Ward. “Think of ballet dancers spinning on one toe. It’s all about optimal coordination of body movement patterns.”

The secret behind the lefty power:

Growing up surrounded by right-handed equipment, instrument, appliances, and tools, lefties give their non dominant side more exercise than the average righty. Biomechanics research has revealed that training the non-dominant side of the body actually enhances the dominant side-something known as the cross-training effect-since the body’s neural network is integrated on both sides.

Handedness is a beautiful mystery of nature, there’s only so much to discover about our little brains hidden inside the cranium.

Right hand. Left hand. Who remembers? The hands are so essential that we often forget about them. Now you won’t.


A big thank you to everyone trying their customized ambidextrous project, the ones following it regularly and inspiring me!

A left handed writer,

Alfa

I’d love to hear your ideas on handedness! Drop a comment.

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