It has come to my attention that today (well, technically yesterday) is (was) National Left-Hander’s Day. As a fellow left-hander and extremely proud of it, I thought there couldn’t be a more appropriate opportunity to celebrate.
I was always proud of being left-handed. I knew in my class back in elementary school there were a few of us but I did not know just how unique being left-handed was in terms of the entire world. My mother’s friend gave me a book on the world’s greatest left-handers when I was younger and I loved reading through the list of authors, actors, actresses, atheletes, and royals who were all southpaws.
But if you yourself are left-handed or you’ve ever spoken with a lefty about what it’s like, you’ll know the world has not always been kind to us. Most can tell you about efforts made by parents and even teachers to sometimes ‘correct’ left-handedness. My father insisted that I learn how to eat with utensils in their ‘proper hands’ and most instructors were so accustomed to teaching righties that they were unprepared on how to translate to my perspective. Lefties can also relate to the characteristic smudge whenever we write with pen or pencil. You could never really make out what you were writing after a while because your hand would drag across the paper, smudging everything along the way and catching most of the ink or lead on the blade of your left hand. I never knew that the reason why most scissors never worked for me was also because of a design flaw for lefties.
Overall though I love being left-handed. I don’t know how much credence there is in the oft-quoted belief that a lefty, wired into the right side of the brain, is more creative and artistic, but I do believe I am a creative and artistic individual and would have no problem attributing it to my handedness. In many of the sports I have played being lefty has proven to also be a competitive advantage. I’m a step closer to first base and the pitcher is not used to a lefty’s hit box. I have more access to an opponent’s inside in fencing. Even in bowling, the release of a lefty has a natural curve when the ball rolls down the lane.
Most of all I enjoy that feeling of being unique and having a unique position in the world. I love when my left-handedness is noticed by others and it becomes a conversation starter. I don’t mind the few obstacles, or that I’m in the minority. It becomes easier to stand out that way. And it also speaks to something very near and dear to me, which is that something is only worth doing if everyone isn’t already doing it.
It was kind of cool to find out that people were celebrating lefties today. I’m going to have to make a bigger habit of celebrating from now on.
Man: 26 Loneliness: 16