By Muhammed Cassim
Thursday, 13 August 2020, marked the 44th International Left-Handers Anniversary. I mean, who even knew that such a day existed? I speak as a left-hander myself! Many are under the delusion that left-handed individuals lead a similar, if not the exact lifestyle as the world’s right-handed population (right-handed individuals account for 90% of the seven billion humans on earth). This delusion, however, is nothing more than a speculative myth. From different sports equipment to special scissors, it’s all a left-hander’s nightmare when you think about it. This is particularly because the market only accommodates the majority of the population, i.e. the right-handed population. How unfortunate for the 10% of us “lefty’s”, right? (Mind the pun!)
So, the question arises: Why take out a day on the calendar to celebrate International Left-Handers Day?
The international Left-Handers Day dates all the way back to 1976 when an American Dean, R. Campbell – founder of Left-handers International, Inc. (Yes, there really IS such an incorporation!) decided to commemorate this day in order to celebrate a certain group’s sinistrality (sinistrality refers to persons who prefer to use their left hand, foot or eye), and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.
Left-Handers Day celebrates people’s uniqueness and differences. The day also spreads awareness on issues faced by left-handers, such as the importance of special needs for left-handed kids, and the likelihood of left-handed persons developing schizophrenia. (Schizophrenia is a chronic and a severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may, sometimes, feel as if they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. Treatment can help, but this condition is incurable.)
Here are some interesting “lefty” facts:
- Hand preferences are related to brain functions — left-handers have a more evolved right brain hemisphere, which is related to logic, reasoning, and even creativity.
- A left-handed boxer who leads with his right hand is called a southpaw, but it is a term used for anyone who is left-handed.
- Despite left-handed people now being thought of as highly intelligent, the English word ‘left’ comes from the old English word “lyft”, which means idle, weak or useless.
- Hundreds of left-handed people are forced to adapt to use right-handed tools.
- 4 of the 5 original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed.
- It is said that left-handed people may be more likely to develop schizophrenia because of their enhanced creativity and imagination.
- Not a fact: Left-handers are generally more intelligent, better looking, imaginative and multi-talented than right-handers.
Featured image via FreePik.
Muhammed Cassim is a proud “leftie”.