As a “lefty,” I have always felt a little different. At times, I have struggled with trying to fit into a right-handed world.
In school, I had to contort myself so I could write on a right-handed desk. I struggled to keep my hand clean and often ended up with ink smudges on both the paper and my hand; writing in those spiral-bound notebooks is difficult, if not impossible, for lefties. From can openers to scissors and my garden pruners, most household items are made for righties. And when eating with groups, I have to fight to sit on the far left side of the table so I don’t bump the person next to me the entire time I’m eating.
I have often wondered if I really am that unique. With an estimated 10 percent of the population being left-handed, and almost 30 million people in the U.S. being lefties, it’s not as rare as it feels.
Aside from feeling different myself, there seems to be a history of discrimination toward my left-handed comrades, embedded in language:
- There are over two dozen negative references to left-handedness in the bible.
- Some common English phrases portray the left as negative — such as a “left-handed” compliment.
- In Latin, the word for left is “sinister,” which of course means evil in English.
- The English word for left comes from the Old English word “lyft” meaning broken or weak.
One of the things that I have also heard my whole life is that I am clumsy and have no eye-hand coordination. But as I have learned by researching, this is probably not due to a default in my natural abilities, but in having to use right-handed tools and items that are backward for me.
Given all this negativity surrounding us, it’s hard not to feel a little slighted. But there are some really great things about being left-handed. Next time somebody tries to bring you down for being a lefty, point out these things that might make him wish he was part of the left-handed crew:
We are right brain dominated. Being “right brained” comes with all kinds of positives. We tend to be visual thinkers; we are more creative, have a greater imagination, are better at expressing feelings even non-verbally, and are great at daydreaming.
Lefties remember the tunes of songs better than righties do. I know this is true of me. All I need to hear are a few notes of a song and I usually know exactly what the song is.
Speaking of music, according to Medical Daily, we also have a better sense of rhythm, which might explain why I love to dance so much.
Lefties also seem to have a better chance of having a high IQ, or being considered a genius. Twenty percent of all Mensa members say they are left-handed, and among the famous “smart” lefties: Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Isaac Newton. And a study conducted at St. Lawrence University found that more left-handed people had IQs over 140 than their right-handed counterparts.
Lefties are better able to multitask. The theory is that being left-hand forces your brain to think more quickly. So we usually have an easier time dealing with a lot of unorganized information and are able to sort through it all.
Lefties: do these qualities pertain to you? Speak out in the comment section below!