August 13 is international left-handers’ day. The day was inaugurated in 1976 to celebrate people who favor using their left hand and raise awareness of the challenges they face in our right-handed world.
To celebrate the forty-sixth annual international left-handers’ day, Business Optimizer shares some interesting facts about lefties and southpaws and what it means to be left-handed in this predominantly right-handed world.
International Left Handers’ Day was founded in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, the founder of Lefthanders International Inc.
It is estimated that between seven and ten percent of the world’s population is left-handed.
Left-handedness is not a new phenomenon. Based on studies of stone damage to the teeth of ancient hominids, archaeologists estimate that around ten percent of Neanderthals were left-handed too!
However, left-handed people haven’t had it easy: in the past, left-handed people have been considered evil. The word “sinister” comes from the Latin for “left”.
In the Middle Ages, left-handedness was associated with witchcraft and the devil! This meant that some left-handers were punished with death.
By the Victorian Era in the UK, left-handed people were no longer accused of witchcraft, but they were still punished for using their left hand. School children would have their knuckles rapped if they didn’t use their right hand to write.
Today, we understand that left-handedness isn’t a disadvantage: some of the world’s most creative thinkers, world leaders and artists are left-handed.
Scientists at the University of Oxford have found that the brains of left-handed people work differently to those of right-handed people. They are better connected and more coordinated, especially in the areas of the brain associated with language.
Today, we are much more cognizant of the struggles that can be associated with being left-handed. Products that have been redesigned to work specifically for left-handed people include left-handed scissors, left-handed fountain pens, left-handed letter formation guides for left-handed children who are learning to write, left-handed garden shears and secateurs, left-handed corkscrews and tin openers, and even left-handed emojis.