Did you know it’s a right-handed world?
Happy International Left Handers Day!
Who knew that such a day existed but for me, a leftie, I’m really glad it does. August 13th is our day. I wonder if the date is playing on the idea of the number thirteen being unlucky? To a certain extent, I suppose it does because it is a VERY right handed world out there.
Some facts about left handers
- We make up about 12% of the world so that has to make us special
- The left handers academy includes Albert Einstein, Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, John McEnroe and Jimi Hendrix. What do you see with that list? Talent? Intelligence? Precociousness?
- In medieval times left handedness was considered to be among the signs of witchcraft so you could be burnt for not using the ‘correct’ hand
- In more recent times when burning people on the stake was not considered PC, if you showed the slightest inclination of favouring your left hand, it would be fixed behind your back so that you had to learn to use the right hand.
What difference does it make?
Speaking to those of you who are right handed – have you ever tried to use your left? What do you notice?
Because you write across your work you often end up with smudges which is why many lefties have developed an ‘upside down’ style of writing. I love this post to her daughter from Catherine Kramer explains about those marks on her work!
Using a PC mouse
Most cords are not long enough to allow the mouse to be moved from one side to the other so if you are sharing a PC / mouse, learn to use it with your right hand or get a cordless version to keep friends.
Whether you use a serrated knife or scissors, cutting can be a real problem because the pressure is in the wrong place. One light-hearted problem came up the other day when we went to John Lewis for a cup of tea and cake. They have cake forks which are of no use to a left hander.
Now the idea is that the thick part is what you use to cut through the cake. It isn’t ‘sharp as such but does have a good edge to tackle cake.
Give it to a left hander and this is what happens!
Left handers manage!
In a world that is so right hand orientated, those of us out of synch with it, have learnt to adapt but there is no blueprint for the adaption. My husband and I are both left handed but cope in different ways. I can’t really do anything with my right hand. Even drawing a straight line with a ruler is not really doable! Nick uses his right hand for scissor work and the computer mouse. We both write with our left hand and at a conference recently I remembered why I usually pick a seat at the end of a row on the left.
I found myself in the middle of one of these tightly packed rows. At first, I tried to manage but eventually I apologised and virtually turned my back on my neighbour. Day Two found me sitting on the end!
It is a point for teachers to consider in their classrooms. Where do their left handed children sit when they are writing? If it is not possible to put them on the left of the table, give them a cushion to sit on so they are raised slightly and have room for their writing hand.
All in all then, we left handers are remarkable people. It is no wonder we have some amazing characters in our classification. I’ve always been proud of being left handed. I’m unique in my family and happy to be called cack-handed!