Being left handed, means you belong to a special club automatically. There are no membership fees or dues. It is a special club that is worldwide, and consists of 7 to 10% of the population, and if you are a south paw?.. then you are in this club.
Considering it is not a huge portion of the population, us lefties, have put our mark with many famous people and artists. It is said that we "think differently" that we "look at things differently" which for many people is why they are so successful.
Here is a short list of lefties that you might recognize:
Leonardo da Vinci
These are very well known people, that are successful and creative. With research, it is thought that left handed persons, use the right side of the brain. Whereas right handed persons use the left side of the brain. No matter how this all works, there are many creative businesses out there that want a point of view on projects from a panel of other handed and right handed employees for a "different approach" to a project or a problem.
Being left handed, is a minority, and even though there are many famous people in this club, we still have to operate and live in a right handed world. This means having to adapt to right handed scissors, knives, tools and even things like manual can openers can be a pain.
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On Being a Lefty
Being other handed a few decades back, meant being looked at as "disabled" or a problem that had to be fixed. Many parents (including mine) were shocked when their child shows other handed tendencies and would do everything they could to try and "change it". The problem with this is, most people are hard wired that way. Maybe they are lucky enough to be able to use left and right hand equally, but for most lefties, this "trying to change us" just created more problems.
Example: I had a teacher in grade 2 (this is back in the 60's) who did not like me using my other hand, she did everything to discourage, it, and I tried very hard to adapt. I didn't' want to be different from the other kids, and she made me feel different. After about 3 months, I mastered printing with my right hand, but then developed a speech stuttering problem. It was then realized, that by forcing me to use my right hand, was actually creating other problems.. Once I was allowed to use my other hand again, this speech problem went away.
Not everyone may be that hardwired to be left handed, but I am. But now in present day, this has become a recognized issue, and there are now stores that stock and sell products for left handed people. Being other handed, doesn't have to be a pain anymore. A right handed knife can be dangerous to use with a left hand, as the serrations are on one side of the blade. I have found products now that cover all the areas of a lefties life. Such as pens, knives, binders, note books, can openers, garden tools, office tools, music, such as left hand guitars, and more...
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With only 7 to 10% of the population being left handed, many businesses did not feel there would be much of a market to produce these things.. but they do well. My own kids search and seek out the latest gadgets to help me along. They feel like treats when I get them!
This is a far cry from the 1700's when being left handed was looked upon as being evil. People in the 1800's with a tendency to use their other hand, would have their arm tied behind their back, forcing them to use their right hand, and when we spill salt, we are suppose to throw it over our left shoulder. In any cartoons where a character, is having to decide between good and evil, and they show little people on their shoulder helping them make a decision, the good character will be on their right shoulder, and the evil character will be on their other shoulder.
Things have changed now, and for the most part, people don't care which hand you use!
If you prefer to use the right handed products, and have adapted like most of us have, then that is great, but if you want to have a treat and make things just a little easier on yourself, seek out some of these new products.
My mother-in-law, gave me a bread knife, at one of her visits, and as I am saying thank you, she butts in with "it doesn't cut anything for me, so I thought you would like it" I remember, looking at her thinking, why would I want a dull knife?.. But it was beyond me, until I looked closer at it, and realized that it was a specially made bread knife for lefties. She looked shocked when I could cut bread with ease.. This was an old knife, and must have bee specially made for someone along the way. I love that knife! I usually just struggle and cut things with my right hand, and cut out patterns for sewing with my right hand.. The only way I can cut a roast, is with an electric knife, that doesn't seem to care which hand you use, but the cord gets in the way when you use it in your other hand, so have to be careful. But it is nice to have actual products for left handed people now, it just makes things easier.
So, parents out there, do not be trying to discourage your child if they are hardwired to be left handed. They could just be the next Albert Einstein, or Henry Ford, or Bill Gates, and you don't want to interfere with that!
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