Reader's Blog

Born left-handed, living a right-handed reality

Sitting at a desk, writing through the pages of a spiral-bound book or even using a pair of scissors; these may seem like simple daily activities for most of you. However, a small percentage of the population considers these tasks not so simple.

Being left-handed in a right-handed world, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for me, with adjustments being made to be able to go through my daily life tasks.

Though now, we lefties don’t give it a second thought when we go about our daily routines; we have faced nothing short of society’s demand for us to be right-handed.

Before I focus on the challenges we lefties face, I wouldn’t want to deny the advantages that we have gained with this inborn talent. Lefties, most of the time, are very creative in nature and independent. People who are left-handed are great typists. They can type up to 3,400 words on the standard QWERTY keyboard in comparison to 450 words typed by a righty, which makes me wonder, was Christopher Latham Sholes (inventor of the QWERTY keyboard) also left-handed?

A fascinating positive is that lefties do extremely well in sports. Tennis would be a good example as serving with the left hand can create problems for the opponent, who is most of the time right-handed. Lefties also have better problem-solving skills. A plausible reason… we are challenged from the very beginning to come up with solutions to our problems in a right-handed world. We are more likely to be more competitive and buck societal norms. Some of the most successful people in the world are lefties like former U.S. President Barack Obama, singer Paul McCartney and actress Nicole Kidman.

Positives aside, we can’t ignore the challenges we face. Sitting at the desks in the library, I struggled initially to find the right position. Writing on chalkboards is like a huge curse, as we tend to write downhill making teachers sometimes state that we have low self-esteem.

The next time you see someone who is left-handed, appreciate the fact that they are around, as left-handed people constitute just 10-12% of the human race.

Using the scissor when I was younger made me question whether I would ever learn to use it properly. Until I looked it up on the net and voila! It wasn’t my fault! The scissor was meant for righties. Today, scissors for left-handed people are easily available. The market today has many products designed specifically for us; like spiral bound notebooks, pens and even the Apple smart watch!

I say living as a left-handed person in a right-handed reality isn’t a curse at all. Though it’s cumbersome for us to adjust to so many things that are purely right-handed oriented, we want society to know that we don’t consider it a weakness. Instead, we urge educational institutions to make desks in libraries more user-friendly for lefties and provide left-handed mouses for computers.

The next time you see someone who is left-handed, appreciate the fact that they are around, as left-handed people constitute just 10-12% of the human race. We, lefties, are humans just like you, who try our very best to live a normal life in a world that is so right..