By Sarah Neary
The Devil has been connected to it for as long as time has stood its ground. Though, 15 percent of the population operates with their left hand according to Scientific America, the majority being men. Lefties can gloat on since they are more likely than their right hand counterparts to be geniuses. International Left Handers’ Day which is celebrated on August 13 gives us 24 hours to appreciate left-handed people on a universal scale.
Not only can people pay tribute to those in their personal circles, they can also look up to famous lefties. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin are just a few lefties that have shown us all that lefty is anything but evil.
Granting all of this, it’s wise to know that left-handers were found to live less than their right-handed friends in one study. “A study in the 1980s stated that left-handers die 9 years younger than right-handers. This was quickly disproved and shown to be false as the researchers used a flawed statistical method to make their finding – but people will still quote it,” explained Steve McGuirk, owner of Lefty’s Left Handed Products in Australia.
As stated on lefthandersday.com, better looking, more intelligent, and a bigger imagination than right handed people, is what many people have reported in the Left Hander’s Club. Not to mention another study showed that lefties usually outperform righties in fast or difficult assignments such as playing video games or flying a jet fighter.
Along with the grand there is bound to be some gray. In a world where the market economy has increased its amount of goods both in national and international sectors, it’s a sad fact that left handers are silently discriminated against. “The biggest misconception is that it is physically uncomfortable to be left-handed,” mentioned Rosemary West, writer, linguist, lefty, and creator of left-hand.org, “It isn’t.” Even though another delusion is clumsiness this is in fact not true at all. The honest reason for their slip ups are in the tools they use. Many consumer products are made for right handed people, without a left handed version available.
Society has favored right over left and it may be upsetting for some to accept this, as it makes who we are more difficult to express. “Scissors would have to be the most basic tool that we have difficulty with, followed by kitchen utensils like can openers, vegetable peelers and ladles,” said McGuirk, “An area that has been totally ignored by manufacturers is in power tools.” Righties may take for granted all the blind luxuries they have, as lefties struggle with the ease of every day necessities. .
If that is not enough, there is the sector of education and development to be concerned about. “It still surprises me to hear parents say they have tried every way they can think of to force their child to use his or her right hand,” said Susan Kennedy, the manager of BuckHawk Center Animal Rescue, online writer,internet marketer, and most importantly manager and host of lefthandedworld.net with her left hand.
While right-handers may not know how to empathize with their opposites, one experiment can be easy to try to feel like the outcast. Use left handed contraptions all with the right hand. Once the tables are turned, righties can deeply understand what the left handers of this day and age go through.
“Libraries and universities should be required to make it easy for left-handers to use the computer mouse with the left hand. School teachers should be instructed in the proper way to teach handwriting to left-handers. Any device that is designed to be contoured to the hand should be contoured for the left hand as well as the right,” said West.
It is not all bad news though. “People don’t tend to “borrow” your tools! When I worked in an office, my left-handed scissors never mysteriously disappeared,” admitted Kennedy. Just remember that this August 13, when a left hander is in sight, take a moment to realize how far they have come in a world where being who they truly are, was frowned upon up to today where that stigma has almost completely vanished.