A Leftie in a Right-Handed World

Navigating the world with my left hand.

As someone who writes with their left hand, I have heard a lot of weird things. From people telling me that I have been cursed to believing I will one day grow up to be an amazing musician, the list is endless. I don’t know about others, but I can tell you one thing for sure, music is definitely not my strong suit.

With only about 10% of the world being left-handed, it got me thinking…where did all these crazy myths come from and why was being left-handed looked down upon?

A Right-Handed World

Photo by Aleksandar Živković on Unsplash

Exclusion from Research Studies

Culture, Religion and Left Handedness

People eating with their right hand.

The Pay Gap Between Lefties vs. Righties

A Leftie’s Brain

Left vs. Right brain hemisphere

A study found that 95 percent of right-handers are “left hemisphere dominant”. What does that mean? Most right-handers are more dependent on the left hemisphere for speech and language. So, many assumed that the opposite would be true for lefties.

However, this is not true, with about 70 percent of lefties are more dependent on their left hemisphere. Why this is the case is still unknown.

The assumption that lefties mostly use the right hemisphere of their brain is the basis and root of many common myths and misconceptions.

Common Myths & Beliefs

Languages

In Middle English, the word “left,” means, “weak,” based on the early observations that most left-handed people were weaker. In classic Latin, the word for left means “sinister.” In French, “gauche” is the word for left and it means either the direction or “clumsy.” In Vietnamese, the word for left is trái, which also means “wrong” or “opposite.” In Sanskrit, the word, Waama stands for both “left” and “wicked.” In Polish, the word lewy means “left” and “illegal” These are just some examples of the many, many different meanings for the word ‘left’ around the world.

Beliefs

People believe lefties are more creative.

According to the Medieval tradition, The Devil himself is left-handed. The left hand symbolized the power to shame society and was used as a metaphor for misfortune, natural evil, or punishment from the gods.

In the 20th Century anthropologists and psychologists identified left-handedness as a biological anomaly, one associated with deviance, but that could be corrected away with behavioural reinforcement.

However, the left hand is not always looked down upon. The Ancient Celts worshipped the left side, associating it with femininity and the fertile womb.

So, now what? It’s the 21st Century and there are still many questions to be answered, but there is one thing I know for sure. We are all the same from the inside, left-handed or right-handed, and that’s all that matters, right?

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or want to chat further, contact me at:

Email: mansikatarey@gmail.com

or contact me through LinkedIn

Passionate about AI and how it can solve problems around the world!