Now in its 17th year, the day has been celebrated with right vs. left sports matches, left-handed drinking events and other activities, the club says.
Sinistrality is the formal name for left-handedness and carries quite a history.
It’s based on the Latin word “sinistra,” for “on the left.” But as time wore on, it began to accumulate associations with evil that persist today.
Throughout the ages, left-handedness has been associated with weakness, impurity or evil. Today, few would consider the left-handers in our midst evil, but they do have to endure numerous inconveniences of a right-handed world.
About 10% of the world’s population is believed to be left-handed, although the number ebbs and flows with time and place, researchers say. In more free-wheeling times and cultures, researchers say, left-handedness is more common, while in more restrictive times and places, the incidence seems to be reduced.
My youngest sister is a lefty, and I had an Uncle on my Mom’s side who was a lefty. I don’t think any of our family’s fourth generation has a lefty.
What do I own that is made specifically for lefties? Baseball glove, scissors, bowling ball, I can’t think of anymore!!!
In a 1996 study, Harvard Medical School researchers found that orthopedic surgeons, librarians and mathematicians were mostly right-handed while attorneys and architects were, as a group, “either the least right-handed or the most left-handed.” Other studies have shown that there are more left-handed people working as artists and musicians and in university settings. Interestingly, more than 20% of Apollo astronauts were lefties, according to NASA.
Truth be known, I wanted to be a surgeon, but was strongly discouraged by most health care professionals. Think about it for a second. Everyone would have to stand in a different place around the surgical table. The surgical equipment back then was made for righties. And have you ever seen a left-handed dentist?
Politics aside, at least four of the past seven presidents have been left-handed: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Ronald Reagan also often shows up on the list of lefties even though he wrote with his right hand. Some historians suggest that he was born left-handed but forced to switch as a child.
My Grandfather made me come over to his house across the street after school, and practice writing with my right hand. He even bought me a right-hander’s baseball glove. It came to an abrupt end when my Father found out, thankfully.
Research indicates that left-handers may have increased rates of high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, schizophrenia and maybe even premature death. It turns out they may also get the short end when it comes to earnings, according to 2014 study.
Economist Joshua Goodman of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found that lefties’ earnings were 10% to 12% lower than those of right-handed people.
That’s totally at odds with a 2006 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, in which economists from Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University found that “among the college-educated men in our sample, those who report being left-handed earn 15 percent more than those who report being right-handed.”
The same wasn’t true for left-handed women, they said. Women are statistically less likely to be left-handed.
Some famous lefties: Leonardo daVinci, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Baby Ruth, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Angelina Jolie, Tina Fey, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Einstein, Jack the Ripper, Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Mozart, Alexander the Great, Henry Ford, Rod Laver, Robert Redford, and Barry Bonds.
So, yes, it is sometimes difficult or challenging in a righty’s world. It starts early in school, as many desks are made for right-handers. Notebooks, the aforementioned scissors,, fountain pens, and binders are made for righties. Even the most common everyday items, like cars, door knobs, place settings at the dinner table, motorcycles, faucets, corkscrews, I could name hundreds (thousands) of things.
The biggest everyday challenge is where to sit when we go out to dinner!!!
Well, I will stop complaining and just enjoy the day!