Everything you know, you learned from someone else…

That headline is a real noodle scratcher when you start stepping back in time with it—everything anyone has ever known was taught to them by someone else. So who was the original teacher?

Speaking of thinking: The other day, Ella and I were waiting in line at the bank’s drive-thru, and while we patiently waited our turn, she started singing this little song she made up that went, “Right hand, left hand, right hand, left hand”. I asked her if she knew which hand was which and she said that she did, but when I asked her to lift her right hand, she admitted that she didn’t know what I was talking about.

That got me thinking about a great lateral thinking problem: If you were talking on the phone with someone who didn’t have any concept of right or left handiness, how could you determine what hand they actually are?

My first solution: If the person understood compass directions, you could ask them to hold a pencil in their hand, face north, and then you could determine handiness pretty easily—pencil is on east side, right hand, west side, left.

I went ahead and posted the question on Facebook, and got some interesting answers (I don’t think a lot of people fully understood the question). The best by far was from my buddy Frank: “Hold up both hands with index finger up and thumb out (like making field goal for paper football). The one that makes an ‘L’ is left.”

And see…you didn’t think you were going to learn anything.

About Michael D. Wailes

Born and raised in Northern Colorado.