Hello! Fellow Smudgers (only lefties will understand). Our Day is coming. While the world celebrates the International Lefthanders Day on August 13, it is well documented that history has not been kind to the Lefthanded population. Even though the five of the recent US Presidents were lefthanded (including Obama), lefties even today face an invisible bias in terms of product design and societal stigma. But with successful lefties galore in modern times like Pele, Henry Ford, Tom Cruise and James Cameroon; Nevertheless, the paradox is alive: “Lefties are always right.”
The concept of dedicating an awareness day for the lefthanded population of the world began in 1976: the brainchild of Mr Dean R Campbell, who also founded Lefthanders International Inc.; with a purpose of highlighting the uniqueness, advantages and some adverse aspects of being a lefthander in a righthanded majority society. This day is often utilized to spread awareness about the distinct needs of the lefthanded children and the proneness of lefties to develop schizophrenia.
What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstien, Sir Isaac Newton, Mahatama Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Cricketing Legend Sachin Tendulkar, Angelina Jolie, Sir Paul Mc Cartney, Oprah Winfrey and Christiano Ronaldo have in common? You guessed it right, they are all lefties.
10% of the world population is lefthanded which calculates to more than 800 million alive lefties in the world. It is a fairly large but much-ignored section of the human population and this day is precisely used to spread wide-spread awareness about the relevant issues of the lefthanded humans.
The earliest condemnation of the lefthanded can be traced back to the biblical reference when the condemned goats were paraded to the LEFT and the save worthy sheep to the RIGHT. Christianity in particular, connected lefthanders with witch-craft and the lefties were often ostracized during the medieval ages. This even led to parents and teachers forcing the lefthanded kids to use their right hands to perform daily tasks until recent times.
In the modern world, the scuffle of a lefthanded kid begins from writing in a notebook that is designed for right-handed, with a pen that is created for right-handed people. Whether it is the classroom desk chair or a right-handed pair of scissors, lefties find themselves at the odd end of things, plentiful times. Despite the adversities, lefthanded people emerge as big achievers as they use the right side of their brain which governs creative and analytical abilities.
Did you know that 4 out 5 Apple Macintosh designers (including Steve Jobs) were lefties? Valid Scientific studies reveal that men are more likely to be lefthanded than women and that lefties are fully capable of learning to use their right hand, almost immediately, in case their left hand is injured. So the popular adage goes, “Everyone is born righthanded but only the best can overcome it”
The 10-90 ratio of lefthandedness to righthandedness amongst the human population has remained constant for the last 5000 years of our existence. It is the rarity of lefthanded people in nature that led the majority to consider them as non-equals; giving rise to phrases such as “dancing with two left feet”. The same reference can be found in the English word ‘Sinister’ which originally meant the ‘left-side’ and the French word ‘Gauche’ which means left but is also synonymous with a clumsy person.
If both lefthanded and righthanded people complete four years of college education of equivalent standard; an average lefty will end up earning almost 21% more than the righthanded. Lefthanded people are generally considered to be intellectual and better decision-makers. The testimony to this fact is their success in politics and business.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born lefthanded. Researchers argue that the reason he was so proficiently ambidextrous was his natural lefthanded ness in the first place.
World’s most valuable company, Apple Inc. was founded by a lefthander: Steve Jobs. The 2nd largest stakeholder in Apple is Berkshire Hathway also owned by a lefty, Mr Warren Buffet, who is also one of the richest persons in the world.
Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and owner of Jaguar Land Rover, Mr Ratan Tata are both lefthanded and have often admitted publicly that being left-handed has helped them immensely in life.
World’s richest person is lefthanded. He founded a company called Microsoft. Some other famous companies founded by lefthanders include Facebook and Apple.
Lefthanded people are better than righthanded people in Sports. Almost all tennis legends including Rafale Nadal are lefthanded. Nadal’s coach confessed that being lefthanded gives him a clear edge over his competitors on the tennis court. Almost half of all top baseball players are lefthanded. However, the lefthandedness does not amount to success in the sports of Golf where only 4% of successful players were lefthanded (Live Science Study funded by James S McDonnell Foundation; “Why Lefties are so rare”- 2017).
Twins and children born to mothers above the age of forty are more likely to be lefthanded. Although science is yet to decipher the phenomena, the findings are declared after studying the historical data.
Studies indicate that even the wild and domesticated animals are born lefthanded although the numbers are as rare as in humans.
Lefthanders are observed to reach puberty at least 4-5 months later than their counterpart and are more susceptible to allergies and insomnia. Studies also indicate that lefthanders can recover faster from strokes but on an average live about nine years lesser than the right-handers.
When both mother and father are righthanded there is only a 10% chance that the kid will be born lefthanded but if otherwise, the chances increase by up to 5%.
Much has changed for lefties since the medieval ages in terms of social acceptance of the rarity. Today we even have scores of online stores that sell only the products created for the ease of lefthanded people. On the occasion of International Lefthanders day, #respect the lefties in your life and spread the awareness about making this world more friendly for them and all their kin in general.
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