Appreciating the ups and downs that left-handedness brings
Being a lefty in a predominantly right-handed world comes with its issues. From smudged ink on your hand to spiral notebooks digging into your wrist to bumping elbows at the dinner table, I’ve experienced it all. While being left-handed can be inconvenient at times, it also makes you a part of a small minority of unique and special people. Being a lefty is a part of who I am, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
International Left-Handers Day, celebrated every year on Aug. 13, brings people together from all over the world in order to recognize the struggles that many left-handed people face in a world made for righties. With approximately 10% of the population being left-handed, the goal of International Left-Handers Day is to raise awareness for left-handed people and the inconveniences they face, but to also celebrate the many accomplishments that left-handers have achieved. The Left Handers Club, which sponsors International Left-Handers Day, was formed in 1990, and “aims to keep members in touch with developments, make their views known to manufacturers and others, provide a help and advice line and promote research into left-handedness.” In addition to serving as a liaison and performing research, the club also works to celebrate the different talents of left-handers in order to make left-handed children feel included and inspired.
Like many other things in life, being left-handed comes with its advantages and disadvantages. According to several studies, some left-handers have been found to have increased risks for learning impairments and brain disorders, such as schizophrenia and dyslexia, but have been found to have lower rates of arthritis and ulcers. In addition, left-handers have also been found to be better at divergent thinking, a type of idea generation that allows the individual to explore a variety of solutions, often leading many left-handers to pursue careers in the arts, music, sports and information technology fields. Individuals like Barack Obama, Marie Curie, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Gates and Jimi Hendrix have all proven that left-handers can become highly successful in life, with the list going on to include various celebrities, athletes, musicians, astronauts and more.
Although being left-handed comes with a few inconveniences, it gives you a different perspective on the world. I’ve become more resourceful and creative in coming up with solutions to simple tasks like eating dinner, writing in a binder and learning dances. Being left-handed makes you unique, so be proud and good luck finding that elusive left-handed desk!
Samantha Fegan is a sophomore majoring in professional writing with additional majors in French and linguistics. When she’s not devouring a new book, she can be found out on a run, listening to music or planning her next adventure.