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Feeling “Left” Out?

Kaid Nickl, Reporter

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If you are, it’s alright. Only an estimated 12% of the worlds population is left-handed. (The author makes up a part of that minority)

Although many people bear pride at being left-handed, this wasn’t always the case. During the Middle Ages, left-handed people were believed to be possessed by the devil. In fact, many portrayals of Satan show him being a dominant southpaw. Hence, this led to the creation of the word “sinister”, as the Latin word for left literally translates to “sinistra”. Even the French word for left, gauche, means clumsy or awkward. The English word for left came from the word “lyft”, meaning idle, useless or weak.

Thankfully, humans got over the impulse to accuse left-handed people of being satanical. Being left-handed also comes with some very unique traits. One of the more humorous ones is that since the left brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa, it can be said that lefties are always in the right mind.

Also, many famous celebrities and political figures are left-handed. These include Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Armstrong, Albert Einstein and even Chewbacca!

Lefties also have advantages in sports. 40% of the worlds top tennis players use the underdog hand. In team sports, being a left-hander (Or footer) can throw off an opponent and take them by surprise. The term “Southpaw” even originated from baseball. Fields were often positioned so that the diamond at home plate faced west. Left-handed pitchers would have their throwing arm on the south side, leading to the creation of the term.

Since the left hand is controlled by the right brain, lefties think differently, too. The right brain controls speech, writing, logic, creativity and in general more open-ended learning and abstract thinking. This makes southpaws better visual thinkers.

However, all these advantages come with frustrating downsides. Domestic life today is based on a right-handed dominated culture. Ever wonder why the gearshift in a car is where it is? Or where doorknobs are on doors? Ask any leftie what they think about spiral notebooks and the answer will always be the same. Not to mention the fly on your trousers are designed for right-handed people. Opening a can of soup with a can opener is a source of anger for many lefties. Using scissors becomes an epic struggle to keep on track. In a way, these annoyances make left-handed people stick out even more.

Left-handers have an interesting view on what otherwise might be a simple task. Though it may be frustrating at times, it ultimately pays off. Simply being a leftie makes people feel proud and show pride in being who they are. Besides, it gives some people an excuse to move to the other side of the table to avoid sitting next to “that” guy.

 

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The student news site of Kohala High School
Feeling “Left” Out?