Daily #79: Left handed

Today, as the title suggests, I’m going to discuss being left-handed. By the way, I’m writing this in a rush as I’m going out tonight, so apologies in advance if there are errors.

I am part of the approximately 10% of people worldwide who are left-handed. I don’t do everything with my left hand – just writing and drawing – but that is what tends to have the most impact. Some people also do everything else with their left hand, including playing instruments, throwing and using a baseball bat, and even using their keyboard and mouse.

I’m fortunate in the sense that my only needs are writing and drawing, but even then, there are some things I have to deal with which right-handed people just don’t.

Of course, I’m lucky I’ve not been born in the middle ages, where left-handedness was used as a factor to identify witches (which were subsequently killed). Even as recently as the 20th century, children who were seen writing with their left hand would have it tied behind their back or were punished for using it. Left-handedness was even banned in Albania for a while!

Here is a list of the most annoying things I’ve encountered. Some of them don’t really occur anymore, but they did in school, so I’ll include them.

  • The first is writing alongside someone. By writing, I mean on pen and paper. This was only really a problem in school, as now I either type or don’t have to sit adjacent to someone. But while in school, if I was sat to the right of someone who was right-handed (which had a 90% chance of happening), we would bump elbows. Writing over long periods of time became a constant struggle of whose elbow would be triumphant and claim the prime real estate between us, and who would be the person to contort themselves into a strange position to avoid the bump.
    More often than not, I would be the one to concede, due to my being in the minority in that area – it was seen as a problem I caused by being left-handed.
  • Another problem that occurred in school, but continues to occur now is that English is written left to right. This raises a couple of issues – firstly, when I’m writing, I can’t see what I’ve just written. You may notice a left-handed person writing with their hand curled over their writing – this is so they can see what they’re doing without lifting their arm.
  • The other point raised by this ‘quirk’ of the English language is that if I’m handwriting anything, I will always get pen on my hand if I’m not careful. My hand will immediately shove its way over wet ink on the page, so I’ll end up with smudges and entire prints of words on the left pad of my left hand. It’s a pain, and makes my handwritten work look messy.
  • Whiteboards. Due to the aforementioned smudging, whiteboards require me to be creative with how I hold the pen – imagine writing but you’re holding the pen near its far end. There are many reasons I couldn’t be a teacher, and that’s one of them.
  • And then there’s the general tools that are designed for a right-handed world: scissors, musical instruments, notebooks, can openers, and plenty of other things. Using any of these is frustrating at best, and leads to destruction of property at worst.

That’s my little rant about being left-handed. The good parts? It’s an interesting thing to say about yourself, and there’s a bit of a thing going around that left-handed people are more intelligent than right-handed people. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I’ll roll with that.

I’m off out now. Bye!

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