Do you hate spiral notebooks? Are you particular with pens and hate writing with pencils? You might be left handed, so happy Left Handers Day!
About 10 per cent of people write with their left hand, including me. You might be thinking who cares? What’s so special about being left handed? To begin, researchers think that lefties are wired differently than righties because the left hand is guided by the right side of the brain.
Historically, left handers have been treated and viewed badly, and surrounded in superstition. Some examples include:
- Left handedness has been associated with everything from being a birth defect, working for the devil, or being a criminal
- The devil is almost always portrayed as lurking over the left shoulder (which is why you throw spilled salt over that shoulder)
- Left handed children were forced (and in some cultures still are) to use their right hand by having their left hands tied behind their back or being given a smack to the hand with a ruler
Thankfully when I was a kid I didn’t experience any of these things. People always find it interesting when they notice I’m left handed, which is usually when I’m oddly writing something with the page turned a quarter and my hand hooked (the only way not to smear ink!).
Although left handers today may have it easier than our predecessors, we still have physical obstacles to face. Think about all the things you use everyday, and you’ll be amazed how many of them are made for right handed people. They include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Computer mice
- Spiral notebooks
- Wrist watches
- Table settings
- Old desks at school (you know the ones with the pop-up wood desk on the right side?)
- Dinner tables (elbow bumping)
Take a look at this infographic from dailyinfographic.com:
Many left handers learn to adapt in a right handed world. I have learned to use scissors and computer mice with my right hand. I can also draw check marks properly – it may sound strange, but I was teased in elementary school for backwards check marks! Years later, I worked at a coffee shop during high school, and my supervisor told me I wasn’t allowed to pour coffee in a row of cups from right to left. She insisted I had to do it from left to right because it was company policy. It was awkward and also dangerous (because awkwardly pouring hot coffee is dangerous!). However, I successfully adapted to check marks and coffee pouring.
When it comes to my future in the world of PR, I think I can confidently check off being adaptable.