A Left Handed Point of View
Since the dawn of man, it seems the lefthanders of the world have been thrown under the bus. The left-handed community has continuously been punished for a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is still believed that only about ten percent of the world’s population is southpaws. The ratio has been artificially held down and is probably at least double that number, with left-handers being forced over to the right side. Seldom is the perception of being left handed from a left handed point of view.
Lefthanders have been beaten, punished and discouraged and forced to become right-handed. Even the word left, in many languages, translates into derogatory terms. The left side was called “the devil’s path.” The translations range from awkward and evil to clumsy to sinister, and yet we all have left hands, so using that theory, we would all have an evil side. Most pictures depicting Satan as left-handed.
Even after it was discovered that the left side of the brain controlled the right hand, the perception didn’t change. Since the brain controls the body, it would seem if left was evil and of the devil, then right-handed people would be more evil than left-handed people.
If the roles were reversed, and every implement and tool was made for left-handed people, right-handers would appear awkward and clumsy. Southpaws have been set up for failure. Even if the 10 percent ratio is accurate, that would equate to over seven hundred million people and yet we are still ignored. Many left-handers die every year because to get a job done, they are forced to use right-handed tools
The stigma has changed, but many countries still discourage left-handedness. In China for instance only less then one percent of the world’s biggest concentration of people is left-handed. In the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe to name a few little has changed. Lefties are somewhat tolerated, but not encouraged and most certainly not embraced.
A left-handers natural rotation is counterclockwise, and yet we were punished for that as well. Someone seen walking around a building counterclockwise could be accused of being a witch. Some of the people burned as witches were left-handed. The puritans were a linear-thinking, superstitious, and illogical group of people. The trial by fire and water was a no-win scenario. They would bind your hands and feet, and through you in a river, if you drowned you were innocent if you floated (highly unlikely) you were a witch. If they tried to burn you, if you died you were innocent if you lived you were a witch.
A lefty would not want to piss off a witch in the first place. In my time as a southpaw, I have heard us called handicapped, disabled, and even cursed. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a right-handed person the left hand is only used as an assist and is basically useless in most instances. Music and Athletics are both an exception to that rule, because usually both hands are engaged. There are very little instances where Northpaws need to do much with their opposite hand.
On the other hand, lefties have to do a lot with their opposite hand to survive in a right-handed world. It is a blessing not a curse. That is why it is said the lefties have extreme balance in both hemispheres of the brain. Right-handers think linear, lefthanders think laterally. Lefties don’t think outside the box, we don’t put ourselves in a box in the first place. It is time for the lefthanders to be recognized as an asset not a liability. African Americans, American Indians, Women and The Gay community have received both reparation and recognition. This has not occurred in the left-handed community. Discrimination in any form should not be tolerated.
There are many who say that being left-handed is a disability. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being left-handed in a right-handed word creates a high level of adaptability, creativity and resilience. Forcing a lefty to the right is a bad idea. Since the handedness is in the brain not the hand it can have profound negative effects. Some people have experienced Dyslexia, Stuttering, Speech Impediments Nervous Ticks and other maladies from being punished physically, emotionally and mentally for trying to embrace what feels natural to them. My vision for this site is to make people more aware, that Lefties were born to stand out, not brought into this world to merely blend into right handed society.
I want southpaws to be proud of who they are. To look at this list of twenty one southpaws who embraced who they were and made positive change in this world. Both Genius and Creativity exist on the right side of the brain. Lefties are very much in touch with both sides as are many athletes and musicians. This world needs more creative solutions and based on the accomplishments of the twenty one southpaws on this site, perhaps left-handedness should be nurtured instead of discouraged. We are almost a billion strong, its time for the voice of the southpaw to be heard.