So, who knew that us left-handers get an entire day to celebrate, commiserate and raise awareness?! International Left-handers’ Day is celebrated annually on 13th August and was first observed in 1976. Did you know that left-handers account for only 7-10% of the population?!
Leonardo Da Vinci, Jim Carrey, Marilyn Monroe, Lisa Kudrow, Angelina Jolie, Keanu Reeves, Lewis Caroll, Germaine Greer, Matt Groening, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Spike Lee, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Sting, Ross Kemp, Nail Armstrong, Marie Curie, Prince William, Winston Churchill, Sir Bobby Charlton.
Is it really a problem…?
As a left-handed person, I’ll admit that I’ve never felt hugely disadvantaged. There have been minor inconveniences, like smudging everything I write and the numbers on the ruler being covered when I draw a straight line, but nothing I’ve felt massively put out by. So I thought I’d catch up with some ofter lefties to find out what challenges or struggles they’ve had…!
- Nail scissors – Scissors in general aren’t too bad but nail scissors are so hard to use as a left-hander. If I ever try to borrow my mum’s, it’s like cutting in the dark, upside down and back to front! Suzy – Our Bucket List Lives
- School – My eldest is left-handed and struggled at school. To be honest, he still does! There are very limited resources available for him so I have bought his own. I found a pencil grip, or even just an elastic band tied around the pencil is great at encouraging hand grip. Jaymee – The Mum Diaries
- Pens – I’m a lefty but I do DIY with my right. My partner thinks this is hilarious! Being handed a pen to sign for in my right hand annoys me, especially if they are tethered with minimal stretch so I can’t sign properly. Lyndsay-Rose – My Family of Roses
- Cutlery – Whenever I go to a restaurant the cutlery is always set the wrong so I have to swap it round. Katie – Mum of 2 Point 5
- Gadgets – Scissors, potato peelers and can openers have always been an issue but I now have other gadgets I can use. Traditional ones are a no go! Mary – Over 40 and a Mum to One
- Serrated knives – The serration is the wrong side! Emma – Bubba Blue and Me
- Keyrings – Getting keys onto keyrings! They are definitely the wrong way round for left handers!! Suzanne – Meandering Wild
- Rotary cutters – As a sewist, I have real problems with some rotary cutters. I have resorted to trying to use my right hand but to no avail! Jo – A Rose Tinted World
Ok, so it seems most lefties are faced with regular, but largely trivial, problems.
However, this is a serious side to all this. Being left-handed has been linked to many mental disorders, but Yale researcher Jadon Webb and his colleagues have found that among those with mental illnesses, people with psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia, are much more likely to be left-handed than those with mood disorders, like depression or bipolar syndrome.
However, contrary to traditional wisdom, being a leftie promotes survival from attacks, at least in the world of snails and crabs, according to a report by researchers at Yale and Cornell in the Biology Letters of the Royal Society, UK.
So, there you go… a summary of the trials and tribulations of left-handedness. Happy International Left-Handers’ Day!
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