In life, people choose to take different lessons from what happens to them. My childhood memories are characterized with living away from my biological parents on many occasions. The earliest one I remember was when I was in kindergarten. I lived with my extended family; grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. We all lived in the family house. That was when my school teacher succeeded in forcefully making me use my right hand in writing although I was more comfortable using my left hand; I was born a southpaw!
No one noticed my struggle with using my right hand. No one noticed how I often did my assignments in tears. No one noticed any changes to ask me “why”? Maybe everyone thought children have no issues so they did their best to give me all they thought I needed. So I enjoyed all the “fan ice”, “nkosua ne m3ko”, new dresses and all the material gifts that came with living with an extended family. No one knew me well enough to notice I was left-handed.
The one who did (my teacher) considered it wrong, and so she gave herself the challenge of changing which hand I write with. When I moved back with my parents later, they were unhappy with my ordeal. I just wished they had also forced me to use my left hand to write. At least I used my left hand with greater skill than my right. As for the teacher who forced me to stop using my left hand in writing, I’m just waiting to meet her in heaven so I ask her questions. I wonder the number of lives she affected with that habit.
Interestingly, my younger brother, Kafui is left-handed too. His story is different, maybe because of mine,maybe not. At least he didn’t stay away from home when his teachers started forcing him to use his right hand so they were not successful with him. Either ways I’m glad he got the right to use his left hand without restriction and suppression. The forceful change has affected me in varying degrees. Whenever I see a left-handed writing, I hear an inner voice, “this could have been you”. Can I call it jealousy? I read somewhere too about how such forceful change affects our brains. I just hope this is a myth. Moving on, I choose to pick the positive lessons from my story. I appreciate the childhood period more. I believe that a lot of important occurrences that happens during our childhood affects us later in life. Always look out for changes in children. Children have issues too. They look out for an elder who would listen and help them. Be that person! Be that hope!