If you are a right-hander, accept this challenge on Sunday: Use your left hand to do the simple chores you normally do with your right hand. Try eating with your left hand or cut a paper with a pair of scissors.
The challenge is meant to create awareness about the problems faced by the lefties on a day-to-day basis in a world shaped for the right-handers. The occasion is International Left-handers’ Day.
Almost all tools including scissors, pencil sharpeners, tin openers, notepads and scales are designed to be used with the right hand. It is easy to open a door with the right hand. The car key can only be turned towards the right.
Forget convenience. Lefties are considered an ill omen across the world. People who eat with their left hand is looked down upon. You can’t offer someone your left hand without offending them. Can you imagine an officer saluting with his left hand?
Any offering has to be received on the right hand. Presidents and prime ministers stretch their right hand to take oath.
Historically, left-handers were branded evil. Even the word “sinister” means “on the left side”. The bias spreads across geographies, be in Europe, Arabia or Japan.
The oppression forced left-handers to unite for their cause. The Left-handers Club marks every August 13 as the International Left-handers Day. The association is committed to design tools and machines that could be used by the left-handers as well.
They are also working among parents of left-handed children to remove the apprehensions.
The day is observed to highlight the problems faced by about one-tenth of the world population and to create a pride among left-handers.
Lefties are a league on their own. US presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama were left-handed. So was Pablo Picasso.
Even sports field has reputed ambassadors of the lefties. Being a lefty is considered to be an advantage in sports such as cricket and tennis.
One in every ten people could be a lefty. Though the reason for it is not clearly laid out, researchers think it has genetic roots. The variations of the ‘C’ and ‘D’ genes could determine if a person is left-handed or right-handed.
The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.
Parents are advised not to force left-handed children to change their habit. When the controls shift from one side of the brain to the other, that could lead to behavioral abnormalities, speech impairment, memory loss or other complications.