I always had a theory ever since I discovered Hebrew was written right to left. Now we lefties know the kind of crap that we gotta go through having to write in a language that moves from left to right. You end up with dirty hands, smudgy writing, and reproach from your schoolteacher for having no pride in your work. Chalk was ok, ink sometimes smudged, pencil always gave me this silver sheen on the outside of my hand (rectify by giving a right-handed friend an encouraging pat on the back), and writing on transparencies…let’s not even bother.
I’ve seen many lefties adjust their writing posture to circumvent this smudgy issue. Some contort their deft hand such that their hand is above the line of writing. I have seen others rotate the paper 90 degrees and then write vertically (hopefully they turn the paper anti-clockwise cos turning it clockwise would just defeat the purpose wouldn’t it). Me, I’m just the live-and-let-smudge kinda guy. If people are not able to see past my supposed untidiness and be able to conclude from the obvious signs that I am deft-handed, I figure they’re not really worth me fussing over.
So, back to my theory. Yes, I got excited when I discovered that Hebrew (one of a clutch of languages) was right-to-left. Finally, a language I could call my own! Another reason to get excited was the possibility that God made all his people left-handed to begin with, which would make sense for this ancient language to go right-to left—so that an entire civilization wouldn’t get their hands smudged. Makes so much practical sense. If one considers that the ancient civilizations of the Hebrews, Arabs and Chinese had their words right-to-left, and throw in Michelangelo’s assertion that Adam was a lefty (look, if the master has some idea of what God and Adam and the angels look like that we can all accept and admire…see painting in previous post), one might actually have a pretty solid case.
If, of course, one could conveniently ignore the fact that these ancients inscribed their words before they wrote them in ink…
And, if one needed confirmation, refer to Solomon’s (reputed to be the wisest human of all time) words in the Bible, from the book of Ecclesiastes:
A wise man’s heart is at his right hand,
But a fool’s heart at his left.
But hey, of course the wise man’s heart needs to be on his right. His left is probably busy carving words into stone.