Left Handers

Left Handed life

August 13 is the annual left-handers’ day.

Left Handed ScrewdriverIt’s not always easy being a left handed person in a right-handed world. In fact, only around 10% to 15% of the population is left handed, which means that most things are designed for righties, often leaving us lefties to fend for ourselves,

But being left handed doesn’t have to stand in the way of success.  I take comfort knowing that a seemingly disproportionate number of famous people live their lives southpaw style.

In the old days of handwriting, using spiral notebooks and three-ring binders is a special kind of torture. The rings made it impossible for left handed people to lay their hands flat on the page and write normally.

When we hold a tape measure in our left hand, the numbers are upside down.

Every time we used to swipe a credit card (thank goodness for digital QR codes), it was on the right side of the machine. Reaching over and swiping the card downward in our left hand feels weird. Of course, switching it to the right hand usually feels even weirder.

Left Handed Ink StainCar cup holders are almost never on the left for drivers. Lefties have to grab drinks with their right hand. We dream of drinking piping hot coffee with our natural left hand.

Thankfully, in this modern age of technology, us left handers only really have to worry about smudging our penmanship when signing documents and getting ink smeared over our left fist.

Also paying double price for left handed screwdrivers.

Some Famous Left Handed People…

  • Alan Thicke
  • Albert Einstein
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Alexander the Great
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Annie Lennox
  • Anthony Newley
  • Anthony Perkins
  • Aristotle
  • Babe Ruth
  • Barack Obama
  • Barry Gibb
  • Benjamin Britten
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Betty Grable
  • Bill Bryson
  • Bill Clinton
  • Bill Gates
  • Bob Dylan
  • Bob Geldof
  • Boston Strangler (Albert DeSalvo)
  • Brad Pitt
  • Bronson Pinchot
  • Bruce Willis
  • Carly Simon
  • Carol Burnett
  • Caroline Kennedy
  • Cary Grant
  • Cecil Beaton
  • Celine Dion
  • Charlemagne
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Christian Slater
  • Christopher Lloyd
  • Clarence Darrow
  • Cloris Leachman
  • Cole Porter
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Danny Kaye
  • David Bowie
  • David Duchovny
  • David Foster
  • David Letterman
  • David Rockefeller
  • Demi Moore
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Diane Keaton
  • Dick Van Dyke
  • Don Adams
  • Don Rickles
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Drew Carey
  • Eddie Albert
  • Edward Herrmann
  • Edward R. Murrow
  • Edwin Buzz Aldrin
  • Eminem
  • Emma Thompson
  • Enrico Caruso
  • Estelle Parsons
  • Eva Marie Saint
  • F. Lee Bailey
  • Faye Dunaway
  • Fidel Castro
  • Fran Drescher
  • Frank Langella
  • Franz Kafka
  • Fred Astaire
  • Fred MacMurray
  • Gabe Kaplan
  • George Burns
  • George H.W. Bush
  • George Kennedy
  • George Michael
  • Gerald Ford
  • Germaine Greer
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Glen Campbell
  • Goldie Hawn
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Greta Garbo
  • H. G. Wells
  • Hal Linden
  • Hans Christian Anderson
  • Harpo Marx
  • Harry S. Truman
  • Helen Keller
  • Henry Ford
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Howard Keel
  • Howie Mandel
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Ian Ziering
  • Jack The Ripper
  • James  Cameron
  • James A. Garfield
  • James A. Michener
  • James Baldwin
  • James Caan
  • James Cameron
  • James Cromwell
  • James Whitmore
  • James Woods
  • Jane Powell
  • Jason Alexander
  • Jason Bateman
  • Jay Leno
  • Jean-Paul Gaultier
  • Jennifer Saunders
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Jim Carrey
  • Jim Clancy
  • Jim Henson
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Joan of Arc
  • Joanne Woodward
  • John Dillinger
  • John F. Kennedy
  • John McCain
  • John McEnroe
  • Johnny Rotten
  • Jonathan Ross
  • Judy Garland
  • Julia Roberts
  • Julius Caesar
  • Justin Bieber
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Keith Carradine
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Kim Basinger
  • Kim Novak
  • King George II of England
  • King George VI of England
  • King Louis XVI of France
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Lady Gaga
  • Laurence Fishburne
  • Lenny Bruce
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Lisa Kudrow
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Luke Perry
  • Magnus Magnusson
  • Marcel Marceau
  • Marie Curie
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Marisa Tormei
  • Mark Hamill
  • Mark Twain
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Mark Williams
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Marlee Matlin
  • Marsha Mason
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Matt Dillon
  • Matt Groening
  • Matthew Broderick
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Melissa Manchester
  • Michael Crawford
  • Michael Landon
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Mickey Rourke
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Mother Teresa
  • Napoléon Bonaparte
  • Natalie Cole
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Nelson Rockefeller
  • Nicole Kidman
  • General Norman Schwarzkopf
  • Colonel Oliver North
  • Olivia de Havilland
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Pat Robertson
  • Patricia Routledge
  • Paul McCartney
  • Paul Michael Glaser
  • Paul Rubens
  • Paul Simon
  • Peter Benchley
  • Peter Fonda
  • Peter Graves
  • Peter Jennings
  • Peter Lawford
  • Peter Ustinov
  • Phil Collins
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • HRH William, the Prince of Wales
  • HRH The Queen Mother
  • HM Queen Victoria of England
  • Ramses II
  • Rex Harrison
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • Richard O’Brien
  • Richard Pryor
  • Richard Simmons
  • Rick Moranis
  • Ricky Martin
  • Ringo Starr
  • Rip Torn
  • River Phoenix
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Robert Morse
  • Robert Preston
  • Robert Redford
  • Robert Sean Leonard
  • Rock Hudson
  • Rod Steiger
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Ross Perot
  • Rudy Vallee
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Ryan O’Neal
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Seal
  • Serge Prokofiev
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Seth Rogen
  • Shirley Jones
  • Shirley MacLaine
  • Sid Caesar
  • Sid Little
  • Spike Lee
  • Stephanie Zimbalist
  • Steve Jobs
  • Steve McQueen
  • Sting
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Tatum O’Neil
  • Ted Koppel
  • Telly Savalas
  • Terence Stamp
  • Tiberius
  • Tim Allen
  • Tiny Tim
  • Tom Cruise
  • Tom Stoppard
  • Tony Robinson
  • Toulouse Lautrec
  • Ty Cobb
  • Uri Geller
  • Val Kilmer
  • Victor Garber
  • W. C. Fields
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • William Shakespeare
  • Winston Churchill
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Wynton Marsalis
    and me.. Toby Simkin

Ostracised, discarded and cast-aside

Left Handed School CaningUntil recently left handed people were historically forced as children to use their right hands for tasks where they would naturally use their left hand. Presumably along with millions of other left handers in the last decade, I experienced this at school being caned when writing with my left hand.  This still happens in some countries now.

In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean or rude to use. If you’re left-handed and in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal or the Middle East, it’s thought as rude behavior to eat, pick up or hand over things with your left hand.

Even language proves that left handers get a bad rap. In French, “gauche” can mean “left” or “clumsy”. In English the word ‘left’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lyft‘, meaning ‘weak’. “Right” also means “to be right”.

Left handed people have been considered unlucky and even evil – the word “sinister” comes from the Latin word for left.  In the Middle Ages, lefties were associated with the devil and often accused of the crime of witchcraft, meaning they would get burned at the stake.

The left and right side of the brain

Left Handed Brain Functions Left RightThe brain is cross-wired, meaning that the right side controls the left side of the body and vice versa.  Scientists at the University of Oxford say that the brains of left handed people work differently than right-handed people.

Scientists say the two sides of the brain were better connected in lefties and more co-ordinated, particularly in the areas that involve using general creativity.

A person who is left hand dominant uses the right side of their brain more, while a person who is right hand dominant uses their left brain more.

So, if you are also left handed you might find yourself with a slightly unusual way your brain is organised and therefore take pride that suddenly being left handed gives you skills that other people don’t have.

Left Handed InfoGraphic

For more information see this wikipedia article.

Toby Simkin’s Broadway Entertainment, LLC
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