Giving a (Left) Hand
Sometimes the most mundane activities can take us in unexpected directions.
During a recent morning of shelling peas, casual conversation led to the formation of a friendship between a peer and staff member. During their turns at the barrel shelter, new peer associate Sean Eidell and staff member Mulkey McMichael learned they are both avid supporters of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. And by coincidence, they are both left-handed!
“When I taught art in the Americus city schools and at Americus High School, I soon learned that many of my best students were left-handed,” Mulkey notes. “Being curious, I did graduate research on this and learned about traits of left-handed people. I noticed Sean was using his left hand for many actions at the barrel sheller, and we began to talk.”
Discussion about likes and dislikes led to their sharing their chosen solutions for issues that caused them stress. Mulkey explains, “I learned through my research that many left-handers avoid confrontation and wish to walk away from ongoing problems. This worked. Left-handedness can also reveal love of family and friends and the formation of words and phrases.”
At the end of their bean shelling, McMichael praised Sean for being “a great hands-on worker” and offered some practical observations: "Each time I am visiting a store, I look for a left-handed clerk. They are the most friendly associates and very eager to help me. The are great in public service and seem to care more if we are happy.”
Mulkey’s primary resource book on the subject is Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.”
As the pea shelling season continues, Mulkey plans to make a point of partnering with Sean and continuing their conversation. Ironically, he notes, “I am not totally left-handed. I guess I am ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, but at sports, I am right-handed!”
In the above photo, peers Sean Eidell, left, and Jantwan Twiggs assist Mulkey McMichael in pea shelling at the barrel sheller.