It is no secret that the world seems to be almost completely tailored towards people who are right-handed. In 1994, a survey took place involving almost 20 countries, which concluded that roughly 1 in 10 people are left-handed. Most objects come ready for a right-handed human, for example, guitars, scissors, door handles and even your microwave! The issue with the on/off buttons on the right side of appliances could also become a hazard when you think about the lefties who are using heavy machinery. Fortunately, although it can feel like an after-thought, most items are adaptable. A computer mouse can switch settings to work for a lefty, lefty scissors are a thing and left-handed guitars do in fact, exist!
In the 20th century, it was not unheard of for schools to force children into using their right hands even if it was uncomfortable for them. Subsequently, it may be hard to know exactly how many people are left-handed or have just been forced or encouraged to use their right hands. This may have been influenced by the fact that ‘left’ in Latin means, ‘sinister’ and for centuries of our past it was seen as a sign of the devil and would be quite literally beaten out of you. Slightly awkward, however the word ‘sinistrality’ means that a person’s left-side functions better then their left. There is absolutely nothing sinister or witchy about it. (If your left-handed, remember to not give away any witchcraft secrets!)
A 2015 study concluded that in contrast to the right-handed population, lefties were more likely to experience the following:
- Learning difficulties or disabilities
- Behavioural and emotional issues
- Psychotic disorders.
- Lower income
- Working in professions requiring less cognition.
Could this be due to years of discrimination, oppression and poorly run research? Have no fear lefties, it isn’t all doom and gloom! For this is the 21st century and we should be embracing our individual differences. I mean, did you know that Barrack Obama is left-handed? Or Leonardo Da Vinci?! You may be wondering how these lefties even picked up a pen or paintbrush without elbowing the person next to them and suddenly having ink covered hands. For a start, Obama may have opted out of using a spiral notebook. The dreaded marks which appear beneath your left hand when leaning on metal spirals, is not always a vibe. (nu: offers personalisation and even notebooks without the spiral! For all your left-handed comfort needs!)
After scouring the internet, it seems that there are advantages to being apart of the left-handed 10%:
- A 2015 study states that left-handed people are faster at recovering from strokes and other brain injuries/disorders.
- Lefties also have the advantage in sports such as, boxing, tennis, and cricket. This is because many athletes may not get much practice against a left-handed athlete, due to only being 10% of the population.
- You stand out! Embrace the difference!
- If you are left-handed, you are more equipped to deal with life’s challenges because you have more then likely had to adapt your whole life.
- Some studies have suggested that lefties are divergent thinkers! They may score higher then right-handed people when it comes to creativity and intuition.
- Speaking of historical figures and celebrities – Obama was not the only left-handed president to rule. A total of 6 presidents have been lefties since WWII.
To conclude, it should not matter which hand is your dominant hand, because you can do anything you set your mind too.
Saturday 13th August is Left-handed day.
Let’s celebrate and show the world that different does not mean disadvantaged!