CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 17, 2016 – One group that never gets any respect is left-handed people; talk about discrimination. Over the weekend International Left-Handers Day came and went without fanfare. Just because most of the world is right-handed, southpaws get short-sheeted because there is virtually no compassion in a right-handed world.
Right-handed people have never tried to slice butter with a left-handed butter knife. Nor have they ever gotten their thumb stuck in a pair of scissors. Ever try to pour a glass of punch with your left hand using a right-handed ladle?
When we speak positively we say “right on,” but when things are negative we are “left out.”
When we believe someone is insane we say “He’s not in his right mind.” Which means he must, by extension, be in his left mind. That’s just another way of saying “he’s out in left field.”
Warmed food from a previous meal is called “leftovers.” Right?
As a service to those long frowned upon members of society who use their left hands, we provide some interesting trivia as a tribute to their suffering.
1 – Southpaw facts: In France researchers have found (don’t ask how) 10 percent of the population is left-handed and that percentage hasn’t really changed since the Neolithic times.
Another study shows that, if your hair grows clockwise out of your scalp, you are more likely to be right-handed. On the other hand, lefties don’t have any particular pattern.
According to researchers, we become more ambidextrous as we age because we begin to lose some of our agility in our dominant hand.
On the more positive side, lefties are said to be better fighters because opponents are more accustomed to battling righties and, therefore, do not expect a left hook.
For years the same was true in baseball for left handed pitchers, although today southpaws do not generally have the advantage they once did.
Now for the really good news. Lefties are said to be better at “divergent thinking” as well as having better working memories and mental flexibility.
2 – Sports discrimination: Not that this would affect most people, but did you know that the game of polo must be played with the right hand? Left-handed mallets were banned in the 1930s.
During World War II, the rules were changed back due to a lack of players, and it remained that way until 1974.
They say, whoever “they” is, that the rule is a safety measure to avoid head-on collisions between right and left-handed players. Lefties believe, once again, that we are being discriminated against.
For the record, there is no rule that a left-legged horse cannot play polo, so long as it plays the game right.
3 – Gifts for left-handed friends: As you might suspect, there are some wonderful and practical gifts you can give to your left-handed friends next time you have a special occasion and don’t know what to buy.
For example, a notebook without rings is a wonderful idea. Ever try to make your hand glide gracefully across those notebook rings? If you’re a rightie, of course you haven’t. In fact, it probably never occurred to you.
Try a Moleskine notebook. It opens flat so that southpaws can write close to the margin. They will thank you profusely.
Now here is something than even most left-handers don’t know about. It’s a left-handed pen. All lefties know how difficult it is to write their signature without dragging their palm through the ink and making smudges.
That’s why you often see left-handed people in contorted positions when they write. They are trying to keep the ink from smearing.
Go to Google and check out Maped pens. They feature quick-drying ink and a curved design that allows a leftie to see what he is writing.
Try a Bartelli model can opener, which is designed for both left-handed and right-handed people. (We lefties look out for our right-handed brethren, even if it is rarely reciprocated.)
Perhaps more dangerous than a can opener is a knife sharpener. Believe it or not, some sharpening blocks are made only for right-hand use. The good news is that they make ambidextrous sharpeners, which will certainly make a leftie smile.
Most left-handed people have adapted over time to use a tape measure, though, as usual, they are made for right-handed people. Think about it. If a person is left-handed and uses the tool from the more comfortable side, the numbers would be upside down. A little research will locate a left-handed tape measure on the internet.
And by the way, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci and Madame Curie either are or were left- handed. So is President Barack Obama.
But then it has never been a secret that he favors the left.
Contact Bob at Google+
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod