A Celebration of the Elite Few Who Do Things Differently

Happy_Left_Handers_Day_by_mohsaas

It is that special day that comes around once a year that celebrates everything that is left. If you aren’t part of our secret club and didn’t already know, 13th August is International Left Hand Day.

You see, being left-handed is like being in a secret club. We have our own bizarre initialisation rituals, such as learning how to tie our shoe laces “backwards” and writing “the wrong way around” and having to endure looking at things like the kettle and toaster backwards. We pay our dues daily, in terms of the extra effort that we must make to live in a right-handed world because yes, life as a Leftie can be challenging.

When we encounter another lefty, we immediately have something in common. The club is small and shrouded in secrecy, simply because we rarely mention the topic to our right-handed friends.

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As the majority of you (90% of the world’s population) reading this are right-handed, I thought, as one of the elite Lefties, I would share some of the challenges we face almost on a daily basis, and even more so while growing up and finding our place in the world.

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  •  We write from left to right, so that our hand smears the fresh ink across the page. Righties’ hands do not touch the ink until they get to the next line, so the ink has a few seconds to dry, Lefties don’t get that luxury.
  •  Lefties have little choice where they get to sit at the dinner table, no matter where leftie sits, unless at the end of the table on the left hand side, we will always bump elbows with the right-hander sitting next to us. Give us space people, we need it!
  • When writing in a ring binder or spiral notebook, the rings get in the way of our hands when we write on the front side of the paper.
  • Many “commonly” used keys are on the right side of the keyboard. For example: backspace, enter, arrows, and numeric keypad.
  • Computer mice are generally set up so that the “main” button is the index finger for righties. If you want to use the mouse in your left hand, the “main” button is under your less-adept ring finger.
  • Back in the day of those old school desks, lefties have little choice but to adapt. Usually, when sitting at these desks, everything from books to pens and pencils will fall on the floor because the desk is back to front and designed for right-handed students.
  • Whenever Lefties drink from a coffee mug, the picture is always facing away from us. Righties’ at least get to look at the picture.
  • Peeling a potato with a potato peeler is the one growing up I found most challenging. Righties’ just don’t get it and my mom still looks at me funny when I run for the knife to peel a potato!
  • Lefties have to get their own “left-handed” boomerangs, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. I remember playing hockey growing up with a right-handed stick. Learning to play with my right hand gave me the added advantage that I now play a mean game of squash or tennis cause I can change the racket from hand to hand just like that!
  • Mini propane camping stoves are designed so that you can hold it with your left hand and pump up air pressure with your right, even if the stove is still hot. It’s hard to hold it with your right hand and pump with your left hand without burning your right hand.
  • Camera shutter buttons are often on the right. Pressing the button with our less-dextrous hand makes it harder for lefties to hold the camera steady while taking a picture.
  • When pants only have one back pocket, it’s always on the right side. Lefties have to fumble around for whatever is inside it with their “bad” hand.
  • Lefties have been contorting their hands and turning pencils backwards since the beginning of time when they try to sharpen a pencil.
  • When holding a pen or pencil in your right hand, you can read any lettering on it, but in your left hand, the lettering is upside-down.
  • Of course, let us not forget we have to use special “lefty” scissors.

On the up side, we can do everything you can’t and we can do it with both hands! We really are a special rare bunch, part of an elite, secret club.

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I’m proud to be part of the club of different. Even if it means I occasionally look awkward. Lefties, unfortunately, are rarely graceful as we rummage our way through a world dominated by right-hands. But I love my uniqueness, I love the extra’s I can do, and today I celebrate the fact that I am a proud member of this elite, Lefties secret society!!

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~ So Happy International Left Hand Day to my fellow lefties of the world ~ Doing things differently since the beginning of time! ~

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