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|Analyst says changing handwriting can change life|
Change your handwriting, change your life - that's the motto of Dr. William Harrison, who wants to show others that simply changing the way one writes can improve self-esteem.
Harrison, a West Monroe resident, is a handwriting analyst and document examiner who received his degree in 2001 from Bart Baggett's Handwriting University. Baggett, who has been featured on Larry King and other national TV and radio shows, has been called "America's No. 1 handwriting expert."
One of Harrison's goals is to encourage more people, especially youth, to write more instead of sending text messages or typing on a computer.
"Handwriting is a dying art," Harrison said. "We're computer oriented now. Everything is text. We're not writing anymore, we're typing."
"That does not create the same sensation as swirls and loops and lines. Sooner or later the only drawing and writing anybody will do will be computer generated," Harrison continued. "It's a shame. One of my visions is to not let that die. We've spent millenniums developing it, so why should we let it die now?"
As a profession, handwriting experts and document examiners may be used for authentication in estate situations as well as criminal trials. That is known as forensic handwriting analysis where an expert determines if two or more samples were written by the same person.
There is another aspect of handwriting analysis, called graphology, which some have claimed is nothing more than pseudoscience. Some people tend to view graphology in the same light as palm reading and astrology.
But others, including Baggett and Harrison, say people trained in the art of graphology can definitely describe a person's personality by viewing their handwriting. (Harrison took seven handwriting samples during a recent visit with The Ouachita Citizen, and was accurate in describing each person's personality. Four of these samples were of people he had never met).
"We look at the strokes, and the slants … there's a lot of arithmetic in it," Harrison said. "Everybody has a trait, because handwriting is brain writing. What you're thinking and what you've developed over the course of years of growing up comes out in that trait.
"If you're excited, your writing will show it. If you're down, or if you've gone through some kind of trauma, it can show it. You can change your handwriting, and basically change your attitude."
When people cross their T's low on the T-bar, according to Harrison, that typically signifies they are feeling depressed or sad for some reason. Crossing the T high means the person is happy and optimistic.
Harrison also believes changing the way one writes can improve one's attitude in as little as 30 days.
Baggett, who also promotes this idea, has said that since it takes a month for any habit to form, changing one's handwriting for 30 days can change one's personality since they are consciously changing their perspective during this timeframe. Some say that when people do this, they are simply using handwriting as a tool to remind them to think positively each day during this 30-day period. Others claim that handwriting is a reflection of one's personality, which can be changed by intentionally altering the way one writes.
While there are proponents and critics of this concept, Harrison hopes people will learn more about it and decide for themselves.