I may be left-handed but I am always right is one of the many lines you might hear from a lefty. August 13th is celebrated as International Left hander’s day. It was observed first in 1976, it was meant to celebrate their uniqueness and promote awareness of the inconveniences faced in this predominantly right-handed world.
Being left handed has its own pros and cons. Using the right side of their brain the most, life for left-handers is tougher than for right-handers. Not only do they face teasing, plenty of things like can openers, knives, scissors are designed for right-handed people. In some parts of the world, being left handed is considered irreligious, unhealthy and unhygienic. On the brighter side, left-handers are said to be smarter (need proof? Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, and Isaac Newton were lefties!) and creative. They are also meant to be better at multi-tasking.
Left-handed people are sometimes nicknamed “southpaws”, especially in relation to sport. They make up about 7% of the population and almost 40% of the top tennis players are lefties. Some of our favorite celebrities are Lefties…..Tom Cruise, President Obama, Prince William, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie all sport dominant left handers. Many deceased celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and Jimi Hendrix were left-handed too. Maybe being left handed is the secret to success!
Many people are proud of their left-handedness. Here’s some proven perks of being left handed.
- Being left handed is an advantage in many sports - Since most players are right handed, many are unused to dealing with those who are left handed so you might come out ahead in athletics if you’re a lefty. Sports that offer an advantage to lefties are fencing, boxing, baseball and tennis.
- Left-handed people adjust more easily to seeing underwater - Though it isn’t something needed very often, southpaws can enjoy swimming better.
- Generally, lefties are better at playing video games - Some of the traits that make lefties better thinkers and multitaskers also make them better at playing video games.
- Left handed stroke victims recover faster than right handed stroke victims - Because many lefties are better able to use their non-dominant hand, it is easier for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain. Of course, recovery for those suffering from a stroke is never easy, no matter which is their dominant hand.
- Left-handed people are likely to be more visual than language-based, making them ideal for artistic pursuits - If you want to be an artist this is an amazing benefit, putting you in the likes of greats like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Rembrandt.
- Have an easier time writing many Arabic languages like Hebrew which are written from right to left. This alleviates the problem that lefties have when writing.
Everything has its own good and bad. There’s a wide range of things left handed people have to struggle with on a regular basis. Ticket barriers in train stations(tickets have to be put in with the right hand) to the dining table (elbows bump when sitting next to a right handed person). Handshakes! Traditionally and socially it is acceptable in most countries for a handshake to be made with the right hand and if a lefty tries to use the more natural left hand it causes confusion and makes people uncomfortable.
Asking around in college, I found that there is one thing that all our southpaw friends envy. It’s called the tablet chair. The chairs which have writing-pads attached to the ‘right’ armrest that we can find in few classrooms.
So let’s see what we have in store for lefties. Amanda Khouri, from Lebanon, is a partner in a shop named Four Leaf Clover that specializes in selling items for left-handed people. Khouri often uses special left-handed pens that make it easier to write without touching the page - making it less likely that the ink will be smudged. One of the weirdest products available is the "backwards clock" - a clock that runs, well, anti-clockwise. "This is a product that is popular with both right-handed and left-handed people. Right-handed people may find it hard to tell the time with this product but the aberration goes unnoticed by most left-handed people," she says.
Thought for the Day? The fact that right is a synonym for correct is said to demonstrate society's bias against left-handedness.